Total station lesson

Slept a little better last night. A few aches and pains from bending over the shovel and mattocking but nothing debilitating. I’ve eaten my oats and I’m drinking my second coffee. Steve has just said he’s going to Tesco’s to get doughnuts for morning tea. Steve is one of the volunteers and wears camouflage gear to dig in, complete with big army boots. He’s a policeman in real life.

One of the Australian volunteers (Caroline) is from Geraldton and sounds remarkably like Cathy Freeman. She’s not obviously Aboriginal and I don’t like to ask. It was odd at the pub last night because she’d start talking and I’d have to look over to make sure it wasn’t Cathy being interviewed on a telly somewhere.

Just looking at the lines of tents and mine is easily the smallest and the only one with the door in the side. Steve has the biggest. I think it has a bathroom, dining room and three car garage as well as the sleeping platform – probably raised. Mind you, he arrived in his car. The tent alone would weigh as much as my entire pack.

On the dig, spent the morning working in the same context as yesterday. I found a piece of glass, a worked flint and (everyone eager) something that might be a key or part of one. It is now called “CuA OBJ = unknown copper alloy object”. After a lot of digging and yummy doughnuts with morning tea, it was lunch and another bacon bap.

After lunch we had a session learning how to use the Total Station and Staff – this is the surveyor’s tripod and stick. There’s a lot of fiddly things to do like making it level. This alone can take hours, literally. Then it has to be aligned to a known point, shown where north is, etc. Now I know what those guys on the side of the road do.

The machine is used to pinpoint the location of small finds (like my key) in three dimensions – where it is in terms of northings and eastings and the height above sea level. These readings are entered into a database which will eventually be plotted onto a map so concentrations of particular objects (as well as a definite overall picture) can be shown for further investigation. We will be plotting these finds from tomorrow.

Our group was then divided down to three (Dawn, Rachel and me) to set it up by ourselves for practice.

After afternoon tea (with cake courtesy of Anne) Dawn and I went round to Laura to do some pot washing.

Pot washing in the sun

This entails scrubbing little bits of pot and bone with toothbrushes and leaving them out to dry. It’s an excellent chance to sit down and chat while you wash, sitting at a table in the sun. We were with two volunteers who kept us very entertained with stories from past digs. At 5.30 we packed up and headed back to the tents.

Tonight we went to the Wool Pack pub (went there at Christmas with Denise, Peter, Kelly and Drew) for a Thai meal.

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