The Fiske Center Blog

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

Dominica survey, Day 1


John at Bois Cotlette

John collecting GPS location data at Bois Cotlette, Dominica

Today we started our survey at one of the village sites near Bois Cotlette (see map in previous post).  The first stage of a survey – after we walk around the site and get an idea of what kind of features are there and where the grid should be placed – is to make sure that we know the precise location of at least two points near the survey grid, so that our final survey grid is as accurate as possible.  This means setting up the GPS antenna on a level tripod visible from the survey area, and leaving it to collect data for several hours.

While John was taking care of that job, the rest of us began clearing the site of stray rocks, metal, sticks, and other detritus that could interfere with our geophysical instruments.  And drinking coconut milk.

Coconut milk in Dominica

Doug and Brian enjoying coconut milk at Bois Cotlette

Tomorrow morning we’ll set up the grid and start our survey!

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.

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