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26 April 2012 @ 07:06 pm
Stratigraphy  
We had an interesting exercise in my field methods class today.

The professor came in with a big wooden thing under his arm. It was two pieces of glass in a wooden frame, clamped very tightly together. Between the glass, in a space about 1" thick, was tightly-packed dirt. When we looked closely, we could see different colors and layers. Some of the dirt was sand-like, while in other sections it was thicker and clay-like. A broken pot sherd was visible, as was a bead and a bit of metal.

Our assignment was to draw the layers clearly and accurately. My teacher warned us that we weren't to try to draw each individual grain of sand or each tiny pebble, since that would render the diagram unreadable. The important thing was to clearly delineate each type of soil so that another viewer could understand the image. On a separate piece of paper, we had to create a legend and identify each section by soil or artifact type.

It wasn't a difficult assignment, but I liked it because it was something I could easily see myself doing in the field, and it was surprisingly interesting. I guess those geology classes I took back in 2008 paid off!