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Field Research

June 8, 2011

We’ve arrived at Angel Mounds State Historic Site to conduct the field research portion of our experiment.  We’ve been tasked with collecting soil cores from the soil underneath the slough that may have partially surrounded the Angel Mounds site when the Mississippians lived there.  In fact, it is one of our goals to determine how long the sediment has been submerged and therefore if they had been enhancing and utilizing the slough for food or as another layer of protection.  We have many research questions under the big umbrella questions of:  Why did the Mississippians come to Angel Mounds around 1000 CE?  Why did they leave?  How did they affect the landscape while they were there (and after)?

The first day and a half here included a LOT of learning but by the end of the day today we were pretty much soil coring pros! 🙂  It was actually a bit of a learning experience for everyone since much of the equipment was not designed for thick clays like the soil in the slough, here.  I must say, I’m impressed with the level of creativity we’ve seen today!  We also spent some time covering and reviewing basics about soils and plants that we’ll need to know to profile and analyze our samples and data.

The five of us (the MURI team minus Clark!) are back at the hotel and exhausted after a hot, muddy, strenuous, but FUN first full day of field work. We’ll be back with updates and pictures!

-Jenna

One section of the slough at Angel Mounds that we extracted soil cores from

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