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CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Day 12 – Archaeologist for a day

Posted on June 16, 2013 by Kerry McMahon

Today I completely shifted gears and helped the archaeology group with their explorations. What a nice change from collecting road lines! Jessica, Julianna, and I tackled the dense vegetation to look for more archaeological features along the edges of our study area. We found several sets of parallel rock features that ran from the base of the mountains, down to the road. If I were to guess, I’d think they were used as water channels, to contain the water that would run down during and after rainfalls. They were all lined up with indentations in the cliff faces where water would likely collect. Perhaps people tried to contain the water, or at least keep it channeled neatly for a place where they could gather water for their use.

These rock features became very predictable as we noticed that the vegetation in between each set of parallel walls was different from surrounding vegetation. The trees in between the walls were also bent in the direction of water flow, indicating that water likely traveled down those channels.

Rock channels

So far, every day here in the valley has led to some new discovery. The excitement hasn’t worn off yet.

Back at the barn, Julianna and I really got going on our eCognition classification of bare ground features. I am so happy that I am learning this program. It is seriously my favorite software so far. Although it can be extremely frustrating, every time we figure out a new command that works, it’s a small and welcome victory. We plugged away and are getting quite good at choosing the correct commands. I know we will have the hang of it soon.

Tonight at midnight, James turned 21, so of course we left a little room to celebrate. Happy Birthday James!

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