On the shorefront of Coralie Bay we began excavating extensions based on last years field school. We expected this to be a real backbreaker and deturfing lived up to the expectation. However, getting down on our hands and knees and trowelling was easier than expected. Unlike regular gardening you spend a lot of time looking for artefacts and features related to the site and then you have to sift through the dirt again – quite a tedious and repetitive process! But the scenery really made up for this. Coralie Bay is quite sheltered with surrounding cliffs and pristine clear water. Pohutukawa lines the shorefront providing shelter from the sun.
We headed out at 8am after an early start to the day with high hopes. Once at the site we found a practical use for trigonometry to set out the excavation area. There were two extensions, Easterly and Southerly. After a brief demonstration from Dr. Rod Wallace of how not to deturf we proceeded to deturf both sites. Once deturfed, trowelling! This was where things became exciting. As finds became more frequent and exhaustion grew we began to really appreciate New Zealand archaeology. We ended the morning grateful digging through sand was not to difficult.
The afternoon began hot and remained that way. We continued trowelling through the layers and uncovering more finds which made it all worth it. This was a very rare opportunity to understand the history and prehistory of this country. The whole experience of our first day on site was full on and a great hands on experience.
Hope you “digged” this blog post, stay tuned for more to come!
Patricia and Josh 🙂