Hey everyone! Yes, it’s me. It’s been a very long time since I last posted – school got very busy and I kept putting this blog on hiatus.
Since I love adventures, I thought I’d start this post with my recent adventure in Drawsko, Poland where I got credit at U of T! Over this past summer, I took part in the Slavia Field School in Mortuary Archaeology (a medieval/multicultural site) that offers a unique opportunity to take part in an archaeological excavation, getting hands-on experience in disinterment of human burials and cremations from discovery to final removal. We had the opportunity to learn human osteology and mortuary archaeology at the basic and advanced levels! It was really intense I would say even though I had a basic background in osteology but it is totally worth it if you guys and gals ever want to go on an excavation. There was a laboratory component which includes an opportunity to practice identification of complete and fragmentary human skeletal remains, as well as other osteological analyses as well. You may have also heard about this field school because of it’s history with vampires (called atypical), whoa! If you’re interested in applying but worried about finances, U of T offers travel grants and awards – if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be able to afford it!
We were paired up with a partner to work on individual features (an area where there is possibly something below the soil/ground). My partner, Becki and I had the feature with a clear, distinct coffin outline and in our minds, there was no doubt that there is a body below!
As you can see on the photo to the right, there is clear dark brown rectangular line in and yes, that comes from the wooden coffin. We were very excited to get to work and see what lay below this feature! After a couple of days of clearing the soil, we found our skeleton. That’s when the delicate work begins! Using smaller brushes, skewers, smaller trowels etc, we began to uncover our skeleton.
Below are some photos from the site of our excavation! I have included a photo of what the site looked like prior to our excavation down to my fellow members of the field school and of course, our skeleton!
If you look closely at the skull, there were tissues and facial hair on our individual! You can click on the image to enlarge the photo. It was really fascinating, don’t you agree?! The last photo on the bottom left is our individual after we have removed the soil and we were ready to pack the individual to bring back to the lab.
We had weekends off during my time in Poland and what would I do during that free time you may ask? Go explore of course! I shall talk about that in my next post but for now, I hope you enjoyed this brief but cool post about the field school!
Feel free to leave comments or with any questions you may have about archaeological excavations, U of T, or anything you’re curious about!
Stay cool (…I mean warm if you’re from TO :D)
Photo credits: Explorer MF