The Fiske Center Blog

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

Out of the Valley of Desolation


I realize you’ve had no word from us since setting out on our 14.2 mile hike this past Sunday.  Never fear – thanks to Elvis, our guide, we made it through the Valley of Desolation to Boiling Lake and out again slightly wetter and none the worse for wear (barring some very, very cranky leg muscles).

The hike to Boiling Lake is uphill and downhill - both ways!

John, Doug, Ken, Brian, and Kat in the Valley of Desolation - after our sulfur mud treatment, and just before eating eggs boiled in the steaming vents!

Over the last few days we’ve nearly completed work at Bois Cotlette.  We’ve finished magnetometry, GPR, and EM surveys at several house sites and spent a lot of time plotting points with the TotalStation.   Meanwhile, John and Ken have set up a grid and collected GPS points at Sugar Loaf (the northern site).

Brian and Doug preparing for a magnetometry survey

Tomorrow we plan to finish the last GPR survey at Bois Cotlette, and start EM-31 at Sugar Loaf!  More on that later …

Mark (center) showing us around the landscape at Bois Cotlette

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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