Recovery Techniques

At the Wall site, after removal of the plowzone, the midden was excavated (with shovels in the first square excavated and with trowels in each subsequent square) in two levels. These levels corresponded with a slight change in color between the upper and lower midden soil. The soil from each level in each 10ยด10-ft square was kept separate and waterscreened through a sluice box equipped with a sequence of 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/16-inch screens.

Excavation of burials and other features at the Wall and Fredricks sites was performed with small hand-tools such as trowels, dental probes, and brushes. Each natural zone within a feature was removed separately, and all fill from each zone was waterscreened as a unit through the sequence of graduated screens. Special care was taken with the animal bones to ensure that, although dried thoroughly before being placed in plastic storage bags, they did not become cracked and brittle from excessive exposure to sunlight. Ten-liter samples of soil from each zone in each feature was processed by flotation. The bones retrieved through this procedure were subsequently screened in the laboratory through 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/16-inch screens to permit comparison of these bones with the faunal remains recovered through field waterscreening.