Always dig with the side of the trowel!
When I first put up the Randy Brown gallery, I took a lot of criticism from some pros out there because Randy runs a pay dig. Regardless of your opinion of the ethical nature of pay digs, they exist, and I'm all for collecting any bits of data I can about an area-- I am incurably curious. Working in the real world means negotiating with it: Meeting with landowners without prejudice.
As it turns out, Randy is a "studying" hobbyist (and a Dirt Brother member), with a genuine interest in archaeology. Randy has the neatest pay dig I've ever seen, and a notebook with some data on every find over the past 8 years. Randy's an intelligent guy, and I was easily able to convince him of the importance of dedicating some of this site for study-- no one had asked him before! All artifacts found would stay with the property--- and everyone who helps with the project must agree to this.
He consented, and so I get a chance to practice site reporting, and proper excavation techniques, and to turn on a landowner to the whole process-- Randy and I, and some others, will work together on this long-term project.
Thanks to Randy, I also get to share the results of our efforts and not only on this website as Randy & I will be writing a paper on the site, perhaps several, for submission to the STAA's journal: La Tierra. As such, this report is not complete, but an overview for your enjoyment. As our notes get compared, there will be edits to this section, and all of the future sections.
The Dirt Brothers hope this will inspire you all to learn these techniques and have the fun and intellectual enjoyment of peeling away the present to the past, intact, and waiting..... Don't be afraid of the techniques--- they are easy to learn.
Look for an Archaeological Society which welcomes collectors, such as the STAA, and go to their annual field school.
As to the critics--- I welcome criticism and intelligent dialogue! Email me! And I welcome guidance from any professional who would wish to come to the site and help out. In the meantime, I'm totally appreciative of Randy (and his wife Cassie) for their hospitality in hosting this project. I also appreciate the guidance I'm getting from pros I've been nagging by email!
I want to extend a personal thanks to Dirt Bro member David Calame for taking a day to assist me in filling out site reports for the Texas Atlas. I couldn't have done it without you! David has generously volunteered to help you survey a site, or to fill out surveys... click his name to email him.
Researchers on this project:
NOTE: Some of the images are large! I wanted to make sure you got the best view possible of the details---- I tried to compromise most places, but some images are >150k!
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