In lieu of going in the field, I gave the students a three part reading assignment to help them understand the context of what we're doing at 38FA608:
Part 1: Review last season’s fieldwork
Please read through my weekly blog posts (listed here) from last season’s excavations to familiarize yourself with what we did and why we did it that way. This will help you better understand the purpose of what you are doing in this year’s excavations.
Part 2: Familiarize yourself with basic vocabulary used to describe sediments and basic concepts of sediment deposition and soil formation
Please read the following two documents online, keeping in mind what you know so far about the site where we are working: “Guide to Texture by Feel” (USDA) and “Soil Formation” (LSU). Being able to competently identify and describe sediments and understand what differences in color and texture might mean is important to being a good excavator.
Part 3: Understand the general geomorphological setting of 38FA608
Please read this short article on natural levees and have a look at this paper about the formation of lamellae in sandy sediments. The lamellae paper is fairly technical, so don’t be discouraged: try to understand what the authors are saying about the formation of lamellae (which we have in abundance at 38FA608 in the deeper zones) and what they might be telling us.