The last you heard from us we were finishing up the excavation and the team were heading back to their respective homes. This represented the end of the 2016 field season but marked the beginning of the analysis phase of the project.
With the artefacts transported down to the archaeology department at Otago University, the fun really began. With literally thousands of individual artefacts to be processed the team got straight to work within the historical archaeology lab, cleaning, sorting and recording the artefacts from the site. Now, to the non-archaeologists reading this, what we mean by ‘recording’ might not be entirely clear. With all of the artefacts, we are looking to find out what they can tell us about the lives of the people who lived and worked at the site. In order to get the maximum amount of information, we record all of the variables associated with a particular type of artefact.
The command centre fueled by coffee and archaeological fervour
In terms of shipbuilding, this meant that all of the fastenings had their material recorded, how they were manufactured, the head, shaft and point form as well as length, breadth and point type. Once this information is all entered into a spreadsheet, each artefact is then photographed and we move onto the next one of several thousand!
The camera rig, each artefact is given a unique ID number and photographed, it is time-consuming but essential stuff!
So, that explains what has been keeping us busy! The next phase will see the project being written up for publication and us presenting the results to archaeologists and the general public alike. For more information about where and when this information will be available stay tuned.