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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Survey!: Terrestrial and Aquatic Approaches

Our mission to discover more sites on Hirundo began at the University. While Matt was photographing some artifacts to use in our upcoming Hirundo archaeology webpage, I went off into the slide archive room to do a survey of the past..excavations (See our previous blog post "The First Excavations: A Photo-history" for some of the slides). I collected some useful slides of artifacts, the excavations and some neat graphic slides to incorporate into my talk on Saturday (yes, another shameless publicity plug!)


After a long day at the University working on this stuff, we were pretty ready to head into the field. Wait, field is the wrong word. Forest? Not forest. Jungle. Maine Jungle. We went out, exploring off and on the trails with particular interest in several rock piles and mounds that Fred Bryant, Hirundo's caretaker has noticed while going about the grounds.

Through the intensely thick ground cover, it was proving quite difficult to find anything. So we headed to the coast. The river coast is usually better, as the river flow erodes the shoreline exposing buried material. We trekked up and down the riverbank as best we could, considering the muddy May weather. 
Matt searching for flakes
Another day of searching the riverbank area, and we managed to identify a handful of flakes, most of them on the bank right next to the original Hirundo site.

Rebecca working on her powerpoint presentation
Tuesday we decided to take a different approach.  Survey by Paddleboat!! No, we didn't actually use it to survey. But, we enjoyed the morning paddling around Lac d'Or, the man-made lake just outside the shelter.

Our paddleboat excursion inspired us! Survey the property by water. The Hirundo Refuge extends way down Pushaw Stream to the Lake and includes many unexplored river banks. Since this Maine Jungle is SO thick, and much of our land-access to the rivers edge is blocked by thick bog and marshland, the only feasible way is to go by boat! 

Considering the terrain we're dealing with, we'll be taking a amphibious duck boat. Like they used in WWII. The same ones they give all-terrain tours of Boston in. 

Actually, considering both financial and time constraints, we'll probably be using one of those. Hirundo is equipped with a number of canoes and kayaks, perfect for our aquatic survey mission.

Next Step: Wait for better weather to deploy our mission. 

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