Although it was snowing today ( a lot), I did venture out into the cold to revisit the site of my field school, Saints’ Rest. The site of the first Michigan State dormitory (then, Michigan Agricultural College), I caught some landscapers trying to plant trees in this area. Fortunately, we were able to stop them in time. Unfortunately, we had to brave the elements today to see whether or not they could continue with their plans.
Although the verdict is still out about this, we sure did find some neat stuff. The area in question was south of the Saints’ Rest Site, which, back in the mid-19th century, would have made it the backyard of the campus. This means, trash. For those of you familiar with campus, the pin marks our excavation point, and the blue rectangle is roughly where Saints’ Rest used to stand (Google Earth! Hooray!). Excavations at Saints’ Rest in 2005 were wonderfully informative about the building, the students, and its destruction. What a trash pit can tell us, however, is almost like a diary: it tells us about the things students were eating, the items they were using, and what they were discarding, and it does so in time. This is incredibly important for archaeologists, since it lets us tell story. In just our work today, we uncovered broken glass tumblers, ceramic, and lots of animal bone. This all points towards a trash pit. I’m not sure what will happen in the future with this work, but I think that we could make a full scale excavation out of it. Of course, that is dependent on time and money.