My name is Christian Hasler, and I am an Anthropology major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I attended the UIUC Sapelo Island Field School of 2021, and here is a little bit about my experience!
To get to the island, we drove from Davenport Hall to Dalton, GA, then from Dalton to the Sapelo island ferry. Once we got there, we made ourselves comfortable in the ABAC Shack where we stayed for the field school. Here we saw plenty of animal remains, beautiful sunsets on the dock, and had a fun time giving each other haircuts outside! We also learned communal living skills like sharing chores, cooking together, and taking care of our little shack. We had movie nights, reading sessions, and game nights too!
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Of course, we also did a lot of work in the field too. Spare for a few days we couldn’t go out due to rain, we were in the field from 7am to about 2pm or 3pm working on shovel tests, units, Ground Penetrating Radar, and marking points using GPS.
From this work we found many items like pottery sherds, some lithic, bone, and glass. We would dig 20cm down for each level in a shovel test, screen all the dirt, and bag artifacts. We bagged and made tags for each level where artifacts were found and later, we cleaned these artifacts at the shack. In units, we did the same procedure but carefully dug 10cm down for each level. The Ground Penetrating Radar was useful to determine the best locations to place units. Each shovel test and unit had plenty of paperwork to go with it too!
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Overall, I had a great experience at this field school learning new skills and finally using the archaeological techniques I have been learning about during my college education. I made new friends, made lots of memories, and I’m excited to use these skills I’ve learned in more research endeavors!