GRA in the Field

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. 


Joe M. and Diana C. capping the core for transportation. Our new pal Bruce, from EMC, Inc. can be seen in the background with the Geoprobe.

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.


In the field core analysis.


On Thursday, it rained for most of the day, so we had to rig up a tarp lean-to to keep the cores and paperwork dry.

 Coring can be serious work, so the team tries to have fun when possible.


We gave Joe M. a compass and a trigonometry problem at sundown. The results were a little unsettling. He got the answer, though.


One thought on “GRA in the Field

  1. Pingback: GRA in the Field | Trowel Points

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