For the next two weeks, part of our GRA team will be in Somerset, New Jersey working with the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority (SRVSA). The goal is to understand the archaeological potential and produce a detailed reconstruction of the landscape history.
For this project, we’ll be using a Geoprobe, a drill rig that collects core samples inside plastic tubes. We’ll seal up every fourth Geoprobe core and bring it back to Brooklyn for careful analysis.
The remaining cores are being analyzed in the field. Each core that we split in the field needs to be carefully inspected and documented. We examine the sediment for changes in texture, structure, consistency, and color. These notes are used to reconstruct the stratigraphy in three dimensions back at the lab. We also collect samples of buried organic material for radiocarbon testing, in order to learn the age of each layer.
Coring can be serious work, so the team tries to have fun when possible.