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Today was the first exciting day of the Oneida Archaeology workshop.

Most of the time we spent at the Shako:wi Cultural Center, doing an orientation for the kids. Professor Kerber went over the very basics with them -- what is archaeology, how is it different from history, when did the first people come to North America, and so on. One girl insisted that we can't possibly know for certain that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted. Which I suppose is technically true, but given the 61 million year gap between the last dinosaurs and the first humans, I think we can take a wild guess.

Then we went out to Dungey to see the area that we begin excavating tomorrow (provided it doesn't rain). It turns out cows came through one section of the site and ate the flags we put out on Friday to mark where we wanted to excavate. The cows didn't seem terribly happy that we were on their side of the electric fence.

The other supervisors seem to be a pretty cool bunch. I already knew Vanessa from University Church. Jason, who I met for the first time on Friday, seems to be a good guy. It's a shame Colgate waitlisted him and made him head for the University of Kansas. He's also extremely knowledgeable about the archaeology of this area. It's really weird to think about how little I really know about Upstate New York archaeology, or American archaeology in general. I only lived in Australia for five months, but I know more about precontact Aborigines than about precontact Native Americans. Thurston and Lambert Farm are just names to me, but I could ramble for hours about Lake Mungo and Malakunanja II. I couldn't name an influential Haudenosaunee archaeologist, but I have intelligent opinions on the work of a dozen Australians.

Anyway, to wrench this post back on topic, the final member of our team is Siobhan Hart '99. She also appears to be a great person, and I'm very jealous that she got to spend the last two years making Harvard's Peabody Museum, the largest collection of Native American materials outside the Smithsonian, NAGPRA-compliant. If I can get over the fact that the pronunciation of her name makes it sound blatantly French to me, all shall be right with the world. Or at least with the ability of the four supervisors of the Oneida Archaeology Workshop to get along.

I also tried to practice again today. My lips were still dead from yesterday, so that didn't work so well, but I did get to walk home in the rain. Summer rain is a great thing.


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