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phillyb doing archaeology and poo in peru: a running photo blog for teh huddle

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Posted

also: mummies fuging stink.

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Posted

Give it a sponge bath then.

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Posted

ok so today we took a break from the lab work and trekked out into the northern outskirts of the atacama desert, the world's driest, in search of a prospective site that had been supposed to have exhibited terracework, foundation and wall remains, and other such standards of archaeological features. the main goal, aside from locating the site, was to locate potsherds (the technical term for broken pottery shards) on the surface of the site to determine that it wasn't just an archaic pre-ceramic site (it still would've been cool, but not of interest to the empire/period we're studying, which was middle horizon (think about 600-1000 CE).

 

we drove out to the site, which, as i noted, is desolate as hell, and looks like this:

 

 

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it was a shitload of work. i ended up mapping the site once we found it (after hours of bouncing through endless desertscapes in a rattletrap of a 4x4 pickup) with a handheld GPS and spent an inordinate amount of time slogging up sandy dunes around the perimeter of the entire site, stopping every couple meters to log a waypoint into the interface to record the position. so most of my day looked like this:

 

 

 

 

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during the survey itself i located a large piece of pottery, one of the four we discovered, that provide solid evidence that it's a culture contemporary with ceramic use (and therefore with the empire we're studying) and gives merit to potential excavations there in the future. i photographed the potsherd in situ (a fancy archaeological term meaning in the context in which it was found; this generally applies during actual excavations when things are in their primary contexts, in houses, or storerooms, or trash pits, etc.) and we catalogued the profile and size.

 

 

 

 

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i also came across (on a neighboring site several ridges over) this stone pathway, or what remains of it, leading to a ceremonial site. it was pretty nifty.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC04303_zpsd80086c3.jpg

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Posted

I played that map on battlefield a ton.

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Posted

I am now even more convinced that the Mars rover images are fake as poo.

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Posted

was just thinking the same thing

 

 

rename thread title to, Holy poo, I won a trip to Mars

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Posted

I am now even more convinced that the Mars rover images are fake as poo.

 

it's pretty wild. almost eerie, walking out there alone, with the wind absolutely howling and kicking up dust, surrounded by the mute remains of this ancient civilization, buildings just scattered down the desert dunes like they exploded, giant-ass boulders dropped in the middle of the sand like some god just threw them there

 

it's other-worldly

 

 

 

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DSC04333_zps77f5947d.jpg

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Posted

can you blame them for leaving?

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Posted

oh yeah and the best part is i stumbled across human remains in a burial pit. it looks to have been looted based on the context (and the fact that there's bones everywhere.) part of a femur is jutting out of the sand fill in the middle, a tibia is on the ground, as well as a couple of vertebrae and a piece of the skull cap. a now-decaying textile was left behind by looters who see no value in it (they usually go for stuff like gold and pottery.)

 

 

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DSC04316_zps0e432dc3.jpg

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Posted

if you find a full skull...will they let you keep it?

 

 

you could bring it back to camp, name it Wilson....would make a hell of a movie....you and Wilson!

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Posted

1363787248_jeremiah-johnson-robert-redfo

 

I wouldn't touch that burial site.

 

 

 

.

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Posted

keep your eyes out for meteorites out there... Got a magnet with you?

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