The Fiske Center Blog

Weblog for the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Final Days of Survey

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Happy Commonwealth Day! We here in Dominica have contrived to miss the Daylight Savings Time swichover, so we’re once again keeping the same time as you East Coasters.

On Saturday, our “day off,” we finished up the last few bits of Total Station and survey work at Bois Cotlette, stopped work early and went into town for dinner.

Up north at Sugar Loaf, with the help of a couple of local guys, we cleared a 40×40 meter area of rain forest along the steep mountain slope.  (Don’t worry, the undergrowth will grow back quickly, and we left all the trees.)  Over the last two days, we’ve completed several GPR, magnetometry, and EM surveys over various parts of the shady, gecko-filled parkland we’d carved from the jungle.  Shooting into the grid with the TotalStation was a bit of a challenge, and remote sensing up a 45-degree hillside was downright difficult!

John, Brian, and Doug manoeuvering the GPR up the slope. Note uncleared jungle in the background.

Mark gets a turn dragging the GPR back and forth.

We wrapped up fieldwork at Sugar Loaf this afternoon, getting home just as all the massive cruise ships were leaving port.  We hope to spend the next couple of days tying up loose ends, working on the final report, and exploring a little bit more of Roseau, Dominica’s capital city.

Geckos are everywhere in our survey area. Like squirrels, only cuddlier!

Author: Kathryn Catlin

Kathryn Catlin is an alumna of UMass Boston's Historical Archaeology MA program and a current PhD student in Anthropology at Northwestern University. Kathryn's research interests include the social and economic dimensions of settlement and colonization in Iceland, medieval England, and the colonial US. She is interested in developing survey techniques, including geophysical survey as well as more traditional archaeological methods, to describe relationships between the development of social inequality and the causes and consequences of environmental change. She has participated in numerous Fiske Center projects, including seasons in Iceland, Greenland, the Caribbean, and across New England.

One Comment

  1. Nice — can’t wait to see the finished GPR “pictures!” Looks like JMS could have used the duck tape and rock from Iceland 2005 for some of that GPR time….. Safe travels home!

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