Fall Activities for SCRAP

Well, it is now November, and I think most of us have fully recovered from our long field season. We have still been busy over the past couple months. Here’s what has been happening:

20160917_103617_001Megan Williams has been finishing up her independent research on the obsidian collected from Alabama during the 2015 settlement survey. She presented preliminary results at a conference in September and will be working toward preparing a formal publication in the coming year, while also applying for graduate school. We’ll also soon be sourcing the obsidian collected from our test excavations this summer. This information can tell us about some of the Alabama Maya’s involvement in long-distance exchange networks over time.

A new project member, Aysha Braun of Athabasca University, is joining us to help with our usewear study of granite metates recovered from our test excavations this summer. She will be working alongside Dr. Peuramaki-Brown and University of Calgary graduate student Matt Abtosway to conduct her independent research using the resulting data. We are hoping this data, along with our sourcing study directed by Dr. Tibbits, will allow us to better understand the workability of the Cockscomb granites and use-life of resulting metates, as well as possibly identifying diverse activities being conducted among the households of Alabama. Watch for results in the near future!

We have completed our preliminary petrographic analysis of ceramic and clay samples collected during the 2015 settlement survey. We are working with Dr. Linda Howie of HD Analytical Solutions and will present these preliminary findings at the 2017 Society for American Archaeology Annual Meetings in Vancouver, B.C. this spring.

Dr. Morton has also completed the final map of the epicentre, and along with Dr. Peuramaki-Brown, is now beginning some spatial and volumetric analyses, which will be featured in upcoming publications currently in preparation.

Additionally, we are sending off many carbon samples to Beta Analytic for AMS dating (as soon as Meaghan completes the sample prep), so we can hopefully get some helpful, absolute dates for the residential sites we tested this summer. This will help with further solidifying the occupation chronology of Alabama.

Finally, all project members are working hard to get the final reports done from the summer season. This includes reviewing all the journal entries, paperwork, photos, and mapping done over the summer, inputting data into our project database, and writing up the detailed report of our investigations. We will have this report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology in 2017, and posted alongside our 2014 and 2015 reports on our website.

We hope you are all enjoying a lovely fall!

The SCRAP Team.