Here's a taste of what's been going on over the last couple of months.
"Rocket Queen" Belongs to West Columbia
I'm happy to report that my seahorse sculpture "Rocket Queen" is now the property of the City of West Columbia. It will be installed with pieces by other artists in a new sculpture park that the city is building along their riverfront. My understanding is that the park will be open this spring/summer at some point.
"Passenger" is at ArtFields
My friend/colleague Chris Gillam and I moved my 10' bear sculpture "Passenger" to Lake City last week for ArtFields 2019 (ArtFields runs from April 26-May 4). In one of my greatest engineering triumphs, I built a frame from 2x4s that allowed us to fairly easily tip the piece horizontally, load it onto a trailer, move it, unload it, and tip it upright again. "Passenger" is now bolted into the concrete in front of the old Ray's Auto Wash building at 116 N Church Street. I shot video and will get that put together at some point. As I mentioned above . . . time.
Pieces Come, Pieces Go
I've sold a couple of small pieces this spring. I really liked both of them, but I also can't keep everything. The squirrel was a commission that was really fun. I think it turned out great, and I was sad to it go. "Nemesis," I hardly got to know you.
I spent part of a day visiting the Nipper Creek site (38RD18) with Sean Taylor of the South Carolina Heritage Trust. Nipper Creek is a state-owned property on the Broad River that contains a large, stratified archaeological site. Work in the 1980's (read the report here) suggested the site may have served as an aggregation location during the Archaic. I'm interested in looking at the existing excavated materials and thinking about ways to expand my work along the Broad River by incorporating Nipper Creek and perhaps some other sites.
Larry Strong Collection: Middle and Late Archaic
With the support of the Archaeological Research Trust, I've got two undergraduate students working on inventorying more of the Larry Strong collection. Faithful readers (if there are any left) may remember that I began working with this collection by looking at some of the Early Archaic materials (there's a short article in Legacy here, and you can read one of the papers here). I'm working with one of my former undergraduate students -- Shane Biles -- to create 3D models of a sample of the Morrow Mountain points from the collection with the ultimate goal of writing a comparative paper that will hopefully help us sort out some of the variability among some of the stemmed projectile point forms we see here during the long span of the Middle-Late Archaic.
Modeling Lithic Transport
One of my main research activities this semester has been completing and experimenting with an agent-based model that will hopefully help us understand how the source-to-discard patterns that are produced by the interaction of mobility behaviors and stone tool creation/use/discard behaviors. We ask stone tools to carry a lot of water for us, so it seems to me that we should use every tool available to understand what they're actually telling us. The first version of the model is done, and the data for the first paper (which will focus on experimentation around a very simple case) are mostly generated. I hope to have a draft submitted somewhere by the end of the semester, but that may not be realistic. The model is simple, but there are a lot ways it can be augmented to address different questions. Stay tuned.
Write-Up of 38FA608
I've been working to take care of a few loose ends to help with writing up our first two seasons of work at 38FA608 (the field school site). I'm cleaning up the database and dealing with some of the stuff I did during the preliminary work, including the excavation of Feature 1 (a Middle Archaic deposit of quartz knapping debris). The lithics from the Late/Terminal Archaic (Savannah River and Mack) components we encountered in the block excavations will be central to the thesis work of one of my M.A. students (Rob Lyerly). So that will be worked on in depth this summer as I'm writing up the excavations in general.