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20.7.01

This morning I headed out for a visit to Dungey, the site I'll be excavating for the next two weeks. The excavation is a workshop that Prof. Kerber runs for the Oneida Nation. In theory, that means the grunt work will be done by 12 kids, about 15 years old, from the Nation. The rest of us get to supervise. There will be a fair bit of supervision -- in addition to myself and Prof. Kerber, we'll have a local guy who just graduated high school (named Jason), fellow Colgate Class of '02 person Vanessa Lee, a '99 graduate of Colgate who is doing graduate work in archaeology at UMass Amherst, and two people from the Oneida Nation.

Today's project was to mark the spots where we're going to dig the shovel test pits. We found the old pits from past years, and used those to orient several new transects and stick flags at 10-meter intervals. It should be thrilling.

The bigger news, though, is that the Oneidas have succeeded in attracting some national media attention for the dig. The workshop, which has run every summer since 1995, has always gotten very good coverage in local papers (Utica Observer-Dispatch, Syracuse Post-Standard, Mid-York Weekly, etc.). This year they somehow talked a reporter from the Christian Science Monitor into showing up. Prof. Kerber is worried because the reporter is coming during the first week, and he hadn't intended to open up any excavation units (where we usually find the most stuff) until the second week. Now I feel like I ougt to start reading the CSM so that I can chat knowledgeably with the journalist (and it would be really nifty if I remembered any of his or her other stories). Having written that, I realise that I'm experiencing an impulse to suck up to a random reporter. How pathetic.

In other news, I've been speculating on what it would be like to be a spoiled child raised by the federal government:
"Mom! Uncle McCain won't give me a soft money donation so I can get some ice cream!"
"Grampa Cheney, can I come play in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with you and your friends? I promise I won't fall in the vast untapped oil reserves!"
"But I wanna do embryonic stem cell research now!"

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