Don’t Burst Our Bubble

The 2020 GRSLE field season was unusual. Not in terms of basic field methods or in reference to what we found. Teams coded nearly 6500 (N=6488) artifacts, mostly chipped stone (N=5083), but also with a few glass beads (N=12), ceramics (N=22), and steatite fragments (N=3) as well as assorted faunal remains and features. The key difference between 2020 and the 18 previous field seasons was the need to deal with Covid-19 – the need to employ field protocols and goals designed for team health rather than on research questions alone.

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2020 Fieldwork Plan

Plans for GRSLE 2020 fieldwork have changed considerably since first roughed out in December 2019.  At that time, the focus of our work was going to be in a remote area of the Washakie Wilderness continuing the investigation of methods to assess prehistoric migration corridor routes.  As Spring 2020 assaulted us and a new variable was added to the field planning concerns (COVID-19), until recently it looked like would not be conducting archaeology fieldwork with a team this summer.  Too many fuzzy variables and concerns.  But after having spent considerable time sitting on and sometimes falling off the fence, although there are still huge doses of uncertainty to deal with, finally was able to cobble together a COVID-19 field protocol for being able to give near-maximum protection (maximum protection would be no team fieldwork) for all team members. 

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2020 Fieldwork – COVID-19 Protocols

Normally when getting ready for fieldwork am planning project areas, travel routes, thinking about how much Spam to buy. This year is different, have to throw thinking about taking responsiblity of protecting against COVID-19 into the mix. While it’s becoming second nature to think about being a grizzly aware camp and taking food and attractant storage precautions, this year have to work on being virus-aware (and as yet, no COVID-19 spray available). Here’s what are thinking about for field protocols for the summer 2020 field sessions. Sort of like any other archaeology project– get your basic research goals, field methods, and logistics designed and ready to to. Then prepare for dealing with all the other unexpected, “where did that come from contingencies” issues. Have done as much advance planning for trying to be COVID-19 aware as possible, but no doubt issues will come up that will require revising these virus-safe-as-possible plans.

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Summer 2020

Unsure if will have a GRSLE summer 2020 field research program. Right now, too many variables without enough information for me to decide.

Trying to decide about summer 2020 archaeology projects in matrix of larger social, economic, and political landscape.