Tedious is a word that can sometimes be given a bad reputation. But it shouldn’t. This was one of the discussions that occurred back in the lab at the University of Washington. However, there is no better word to describe lab work. The process goes as follows (and bear with me):

  • Artifacts collected from a unit, let’s use FMIA-SCHOOLHOUSE-07162015-009 as our example, first need to be washed.
  • Afterwards, all the artifacts are laid out on a tray and paper towels with their original provenience information (plastic level bag, paper bag, and bag slip) and left to dry.
  • Once all the artifacts have been dried thoroughly, the cataloger needs to “Check Out” a unit by writing their initials on the Lab Catalog Register.
  • The cataloger then sorts out the artifacts, grouping them into Basic Groups, Material Categories and Artifact Classes. For example, an iron nail (a common find at the Schoolhouse) would be catalogued as European American, Metal, Ferrous which would be abbreviated to EA-ME-FE. All of this information is written out on a Lab Catalog Record form along with the cataloger’s name and date.
  • After all of the artifacts are sorted, grouped and counted, each class is weighed and that information is recorded on a separate Artifact Inventory Form that records counts and weights for common Material Categories and Artifact Classes.
  • Following weighing, the cataloger creates a new plastic bag for each Material Category or Artifact Class and a new bag slip for each of these bags. The plastic bags record basic provenience information including the Field Catalog Number, Unit Coordinate, SC for Surface Collection or Exacavation for an excavation unit, the Artifact codes. Bag slips include this data in addition to the number of artifacts contained within the bag, weight and the number of bags created for the entire unit.

Plastic Bag

  • Once all the artifacts are sorted, weighed, counted and cataloged, the cataloger pulls the Artifact Control Card from the index file, records their name, the date, and total number of bags for the unit and level and refilled within the Lab Control Card index file.


Although the process may seem long, in practice t did not feel that way. I worked on a unit that had a high number of artifacts and spent at least 90 minutes on it. A lot of it was repetitive work, rewriting the Field Catalog Number and whatnot, but time flew by real quick. By the time I checked out another unit, I was genuinely shocked at how much time had passed by. Tedious the work may be and time consuming, but all for good measure.

This isn’t the type of lab work where where I was constantly checking the time, but rather was continually surprised when I did check the time to realize how much time had actually passed. It was easy to get lost in the work and just let my mind wander as I washed and sorted and cataloged.

Volunteering in the lab was also an opportunity to see a different side of archaeology. As undergraduate students, we have read endless archaeology-based articles and books related to a class or topic. We know the importance of field research and its role within the discipline. As field school students, we experienced this physical aspect and the great toll of doing archaeology (on sites?  The body?). Getting dirty is part of the job. As students in a lab, we saw the time commitment it takes to catalog everything in an easily tractable way. And it turns out, tedious isn’t so bad. It’s the little details that, although can make us go a little insane, helps stay sane in the long run.

An End and a New Beginning

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Small tables, clean trays. A view of the dorm next door. This is the new field in which I continue my archaeology training. The lab. Ever since pulling the first artifact out of my unit, I have looked forward to taking a much closer, and more connected look at the objects themselves.

The physical act of excavation is exhilarating, intense, and powerful, but I have looked forward most to the analysis and early stages of reconstructing the function, date, origin, and possible meaning(s) or each artifact. First step: washing. Removing just a few years’ worth of soil, or many decades of it, it reveals the beauty that time has hidden away. Then comes the fun part: cataloging. These are the first stages that we take in order to preserve and organize the data we have collected. For many this process is something that many do not look forward to, but for me, it is something that I do in small ways constantly within my daily life, such as my organization of my art, notes, and various other things.  The sorting by type, identifying the many types, counting and weighing, and bagging; what a joy. Though not always as straightforward, the challenges make you stop and think of what you are trying to do with such a collection. All of this organization gave me a much better view of what we found at the site, since each individual does not get the joy to see every artifact whilst in the field.

During the course of the field school each student assumed a leadership role.. A role in which we are able to showcase our talents and interests in an archaeological setting by drawing upon our established skills, or building new ones by exploring and contributing to something new. Mine became artifact illustration. This role has quickly become a dream of mine for a possible career choice in the future. Being able to engage with artifacts on a much closer basis, and by extension their users and makers for me is the closest and most powerful way to go about archaeology. And so I began the illustration of a few of the most interesting artifacts that we came across. A couple of glass vessel fragments, a fragment of a bracelet, and a sardine can key (which was an easy choice, since sardines are among my favorite treats). The process of looking at the materials being used, the amount of decay, and even the colour, and then using my skill to render them upon blank paper brought me even closer to the artifacts and the stories that they tell. It was an experience unlike any other. I enjoy the precision needed to represent fully the details of the object as well as the time it took to capture the simple beauty. Along with this joy came a certain level of difficulty. Every little detail from the slight cracks and breaks to even the level and style of shading had to be perfect.

But any challenge presents growth and the new possibility to grow. Especially one that could lead to something that one day might define me. Now having finished the illustrations, I can sit back and enjoy the outcome as well as the feeling of creating the image while still waiting for the next opportunity to give new life to objects using the power of art.


Coming home to my own bed and my own coffee maker was great. I do miss the ravens cawing in the morning, though I’m sure fellow classmates would disagree. Looking back on the time I spent in Grand Ronde I came to a few conclusions. First of all I learned a ton. An understatement for sure, but accurate nonetheless. I learned about the area and community I was a part of for the duration of FMIA. The Grand Ronde Tribal Historic Preservation Office and wider community offered a wealth of knowledge about practice, place, person, and time. If you have read any of the other blog posts about the technology we encountered and learned how to use in the field you would know we had our work cut out for us.
Second conclusion-you can’t turn archaeology off in a person. A few days ago I finally came home and the next afternoon my brother and I went fishing out on the river. We hadn’t talked much while I was in Oregon so we were catching up, or mostly I was asking a million and one questions about the river and the fishing spot we were headed out to. Until finally, Kyle (my brother) turned around with a grin and said, “I am so happy they finally got you to stop questioning if a question is stupid to ask, now you ask all the questions.” We laughed and that’s when it hit me, I’ve always asked questions, not they are just more direct and come in a sequential pattern. As an archaeologist, how you approach a situation or discovery is critical. Asking good questions, in the right order may affect how you perceive the situation and decide on the next steps to take.
Third, not everyone is interested in archaeology. Yes, I know. Shock. Gasp. It’s alright. Since coming home I’ve explained what FMIA is and what we had done this summer multiple times. Coming from living and working with people who love archaeology to living with my family whose interests range from farming, carpentry, hairstyling to accounting has been a learning experience. I had to remember to explain archaeology in terms that connected with everyone’s different interests in order to make it relevant to how they see the world. Everyone is interested in something, my team and I happen to fall into the category of those who have archaeological interests. I got a one minuet explanation of what I did this summer down rather quickly. This was of course after a few conversations where my audience had glazed over eyes and a lost look to their person. Elevator speech down. Boom.
Lastly, I conclude with thanks. A massive thank you that will still fall short of how much the five weeks spent in Grand Ronde meant to me. FMIA was welcomed, fed, and granted permission to work on tribal property. We were research partners. I am immensely grateful to be a part of a field school where trust and relationships have been established. I know that this field school will have impact on how I conduct research in the future and it will all (hopefully) be community based.

Home Sweet Home: Closing Remarks

kaylaAfter five weeks of sleeping outside, waking up at the crack of dawn and going to bed at sundown, retuning to life in Seattle was very weird at first. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way!). My sleep pattern very quickly reverted to my late-night schedule and one of the first things I did (after dumping all of my camping gear onto my bedroom floor) was sink into my couch and turn on the TV. Home sweet home. While my camping habits fell away very quickly, the lessons and skills I learned while at field school will stay with me for a long time.

I learned how to set up and operate a total station, and while I may need a brief refresher on it in the future or may need to follow slightly different procedures on different machine models, I understand the theory behind how the total station works and how it collects data. Our in-depth training and work shopping with the field equipment is something that not all field school students get. I will not need extensive training or to be taught the theory behind how the machine works which I find to be incredibly valuable know-how. During our project I learned to orient the total station in terms of North-South, East-West, take points on an X-Y grid, how to shoot the laser beam from the total station at the prism, and the delicate task of holding the prism level (your ab muscles are the key!).

I also got to observe how to interact with communities directly connected to the area in which we were doing research, an experience which I think will have a strong hand in shaping my future professional growth. Almost daily we had members of the community stopping by the schoolhouse site as well as at our camp site; occurrences that made me realize how visible we were to the public and how much our work mattered to everyone. Explaining to people what it was that we were doing helped to keep the public informed and engaged in the work being done as well as reaffirmed my own understanding of the project. The overall response to our field school was very positive, and I am thankful for the support we received from the CTGR community.

I encourage anyone who thinks that they may be interested in archaeology to pursue a field school experience. You learn the good as well as the difficult aspects of pursuing archaeological research. You learn how to problem solve when difficulties arise, and you learn which parts of the work you love and which parts you absolutely can’t stand (for me, I don’t want to screen another bucket of dirt for a very long time which is problematic for obvious reasons). A hands-on style is really the best way to learn, and that’s something you can’t get from a textbook. If anyone is looking to pursue a field school in the future, this is definitely one to look out for!

Sketchup for archaeology

For my leadership project I worked with another field school student, Ellie, to create a 3-D model of Grand Ronde Agency School, one of the sites we investigated during field work. Sketchup ( is a free software developed by Trimble Navigation that can be downloaded on the internet and used for professional or personal projects. The program is catered towards industries like architecture, engineering, interior design, construction, urban planning, and gaming; however, we found it to be useful for archaeology as well for the ability to create renditions of archaeological sites and places.

After I downloaded the basic Sketchup software, there were a bunch of different add-ons that were available to download, some of which were free and some were a little pricey. We were able to get the job done using the free add-ons; however, we could have achieved greater detail with the more expensive add-ons. To recreate the schoolhouse the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal Historic Preservation Office gave us access to historic photos of the Grand Ronde Agency School and an in depth report describing its architectural characteristics and history. Given the amount of information we had to work with, there was only a small amount of artistic interpretation in our re- creation.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.49.28 PM (Screenshot of our schoolhouse re- creation)

In the report I found that the Schoolhouse site was 800ft north off the intersection of Grand Ronde road and Highway 22. I was able to use Google Earth to find the actual aerial image of the schoolhouse site, which was very helpful! In the report I found documentation of the dimensions of the schoolhouses foundation. The schoolhouse actually consisted of four buildings: the schoolhouse, the kitchen, the gym, and the stage, the latter three which were additions to the original structure. I was able to compare the dimensions of the schoolhouses foundation from the report with the aerial photo from Google Earth, which was pretty awesome because it allowed me to build on top of the original foundation, which was photographed by Google Earth. From there Ellie and I began to build the school from foundations to the rooflines. We were unable to find the height of the building in the reports, but we were able to estimate the buildings height based on photos. There were a few photos with people standing in front of the building, so we used these people as a scale.

Our 3D re- creation was not perfect, but it definitely gave me a better understanding of the site of the schoolhouse as the building was demolished this past spring. The ability to view a 3 dimensional recreation of a site from different angles and perspectives helps us to get a deeper understanding of the site, and also facilitates the documentation, education, outreach, discussions, and preservation of this significant site for the Grand Ronde community.

Many technologies are created for other purposes, but prove to be extremely useful for archaeology. During our fieldwork at Grand Ronde we used a lot of technology that was not necessarily made specifically for archaeology. For example, we used a drone, compasses, maps, a GNSS receiver, a Total Station and Ground Penetrating Radar to survey the site; all of these tools have multi- purposes and were not created specifically for archaeology, but are extremely useful for archaeological purposes. This project helped me realize the importance of new technologies and how they might contribute to the documentation, conservation, education, outreach and understanding of future sites.



Just Scratching the Surface

When one imagines archaeology, many people think of deep pits filled with all kinds of whole or partially whole artifacts. I must admit that before this field school I had similar ideas about excavation, but after spending weeks in the field my view has changed for the better. Much of the work we have done involves what is called surface collection. This method of archaeology is known as a low impact form. This method of excavation has been of much greater importance as more researchers and communities focus on the preservation of sites not only through the artifacts, but also the land itself. This method involves the usual 1-meter by 1-meter units but with a slight twist. Due to dense ground cover at the schoolhouse site, it was not possible to identify artifacts at the surface. So this is where surface collection came into play. We do this by lifting the sod cover to the roots using shovels. When explaining this process to my friends, they questioned whether any artifacts would be there and if they would even be of much use if they were there. But in fact we have been finding much in the way of interesting artifacts. Due to natural forces of the shifting soils, there tends to be a fair amount of artifacts just on the surface, but not all artifacts are which is due to various factors such as deposition, human activity, etc. Through this method, we recovered materials from the recent building demolition such as fragments of wood, cement, and glass, as well as older objects, including bits of chalk, porcelain from a saucer, and even a small button. These artifacts could range in age from very young to possibly a century. All of this knowledge through material remains was collected by simply peeling back the grass. The other aspect of surface collection that I really enjoy is that it is a low impact method of excavation. Each surface collection unit requires removing only a few centimeters of sod, and when finished is backfilled to make sure that the impact upon the land is as minimal as we can make it. After using this method I have acquired a better understanding of ways in which researchers practice archaeology without large impact as well as the wealth of information that the surface can provide.

FMIA 2015: An Experience I Will Forever Cherish

I absolutely love camping and archaeology, so it was not a difficult decision for me to sign on to the FMIA trip to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. When I left I was full of excitement about what we would learn and accomplish through this experience, though I was not exactly sure what to expect when I would arrive. As a student of anthropology focusing on archaeology for the last two year501s at the University of Washington (UW), I have learned a lot about ethics, theory, and methodology within    classroom and lab settings, however, I had yet to apply any of what I have learned in the field. I truly believe there is no greater way to obtain knowledge than through application, and what I have taken from my experience living, learning, and working in Grand Ronde went above and beyond my expectations.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am very interested in landscape management past, present, and future. As it turned out, that interest was shared by Dave Harrelson, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, who was so kind as to provide additional related materials for me, such as The Role of Indigenous Burning in Land Man076agement (Kimmerer and Lake, 2001) and Preserving Native American Places (Cook, 2015), in addition to a wide variety of readings related directly to the Grand Ronde Community, including Eirik Thorsgard’s (2010) Digging for My Ancestors’ Things, references which I am continuing to learn from and enjoy now that I am back home in Bremerton, WA. Dave has a deep love for and a wealth of knowledge regarding forests and forestry practices, having spent a large part of his life working in the logging industry and as a US Forest Service Fire Fighter, and I am forever grateful that he was willing to put his time and effort into providing these resources to help further my education.
A great deal of knowledge regarding human perceptions of and connections to landscapes was also bestowed upon me thanks to Briece Edwards, Principle Archae500ologist for the tribe, concepts which he shows a greatly nuanced understanding, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent some time picking his brain about the subject. I feel that I have come away with a heightened awareness of not only the meanings of landscapes, but also how those meanings fluctuate across time, space, and both individual and shared experiences. Briece led many field trips over our five week stay, providing us with additional knowledge about the local area, serving to expand how we conceptualize both past and present associations between the land and the peoples indigenous to the Willamette Valley. The importance of understanding variable world views cannot be understated when practicing an indigenous archaeology and I feel that this was a deeply fundamental part of our education.
When I initially signed onto the FMIA summer trip, I knew that I would be in good hands with Professor Sara Gonzales, who I have been fortunate enough to have learned from while attending classes at UW. She is a wonderful teacher and overall charismatic person, and served us all w502ell through our education and fulfilling so many of our basic needs back at camp. She is very knowledgeable about indigenous archaeology practices and methodology, and cares very much about the communities that she serves, both indigenous and archaeological. Sara and her assistant, UW graduate student Ian Kretzler taught us to utilize a wide variety of associated technologies, more than I could have dreamed of when I signed on. We were very fortunate to have had full access to GPS, GPR, drone imaging, Total Stations, and Tough-books for processing in addition to our shovels, trowels, augers, and screening stations. Ian was also a pleasure to work with and learn from, he proved himself to be incredibly knowledgeable, and was also a blast to have at camp in the after hours where as a group we played a wide variety of games to pass the time. We were also incredibly fortunate to have had such amazing meals prepared for us each day by Alistair, Lloyd, and their amazing kitchen staff, who put a gre434at deal of thought and care into each and every one. Over a five week period, we never had the same dinner twice! In addition to the meals, they were absolutely wonderful folks to visit with when picking food up each day.
I couldn’t have hoped for a better team to be involved with than those who made up the FMIA 2015 field school. Each and every individual maintained a positive attitude and each came with their own unique skill-sets and interests. I feel that I learned something valuable from each person involved, and I am grateful for the friendships resulting from our trip to Grand Ronde. If given another opportunity to relive this experience, I would do it all over without hesitation.


Kimmerer, Robin Wall and Frank Kanawha Lake
2001 The Role of Indigenous Burning in Land Management. In Journal of Forestry. November: Pp. 36-41
Thorsgard, Eirik
2010 Digging for My Ancestors’ Things. In Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists George Nicholas, ed. Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press.
Cook, William J.
2015 Preserving Native American Places: A Guide to Federal Laws and Policies that Help
Protect Cultural Resources and Sacred Sites. National Trust for Historic Preservation


The border between sunlight and shadow—these are important locations for ecosystems.  These borders have high levels of biodiversity, containing plants and animals that thrive in both light and darkness and those which thrive only in the demarcation between forest and meadow.

In the third week of field school, the FMIA team went to Fingerboard Prairie in the Willamette National Forest to investigate an ARPA violation that was a result of a Rainbow Family gathering at the site.  Some of the individual meadows in the Fingerboard Prairie are in rehabilitation, being managed by the Forest Service so they can remain or become meadows again.  Around the perimeter of the meadows, trees had been girdled in order to prevent them from continuing to encroach on the meadow.  These trees are now dead or dying and will fall into the meadow, adding space to the meadow and contributing to the richness of the soil.

The diversity present in the meadows was spectacular to behold for a student who spends most of her time in the Seattle Metropolitan area.  For me, biodiversity is seeing a different variety of toy dog, balcony gardens, and evergreens growing on the side of I-5 as I ride the bus to campus in the mornings.  Meadows are not simply empty spaces in the forest, nor do they only support grass.  Berry bushes grow in pools of sunshine, flowers draw honeybees into the meadow to pollenate all the flowers (and make Archaeology students nervous), and ferns nestle against tree trunks at the margins.  There were things to be mindful of; we were warned of poison oak, we were careful of our footing around some very large holes made by very small mountain beavers (which are not even beavers), and beneath many fallen logs lay mountains on ants.

Amongst the threats posed to this prairie, the most dangerous was the one which drew us, archaeologically, to the Fingerboard Prairie—Rainbow Family.  One of the first things pointed out to us as a danger were the poorly hidden latrines.  As we surveyed the damage done to the site, we were forced to stop accounting for all the garbage we encountered after approximately an hour due to sheer volume.  Fallen wood which would have enriched the soil was instead burned, either in personal campfires or in the large bonfire in the center of one of the meadows.  According to the Forest Service Archaeologist, Cara, the actions of the Rainbow Family significantly set back the efforts toward restoration of the forest.

For centuries, Native peoples in the region maintained meadows through judicious… judicious use of carefully controlled fire which kept the trees from invading, enriched the soil, and promoted the growth of pyrophilic plants.  The diversity itself was not the goal, but rather the variety of foods they provided, both faunal and floral; foods that were more numerous in a carefully maintained environment such as the meadows.

Meadows are important, both culturally and ecologically.  This applies specifically to Oregon in this situation, but across the Northwest and beyond.   They require maintenance as they are important and, ultimately, fragile spaces today and in the past.

Digging for an Answer

In light of all the new technologies available to archaeologists today, augering may seem to be a fairly dated technology. So why choose the laborious task of augering over the array of other methods and technologies at hand?

There are actually a variety of reasons that augering continues to be useful as an archaeological method. For example, it is particularly useful in low-visibility areas such as forests, where aerial photo and surface survey opportunities may be limited. Augering also gives us the ability to cover a wide area in a short time while revealing what is happening below ground level.

In order to attempt locating a known, though yet unidentified site of an Umpqua encampment dated to the mid-late 1800’s, we have enlisted the use of augering to help verify its location and test the validity of a map created by Lt. WB Hazen of the reservation in 1856. While many land features changed since Hazen created the map, the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) has used a combination of LiDAR and GIS imagery to pinpoint specific landforms where the encampment was likely to have been.

There are many who feel that augering is fairly invasive archaeological method, as it does churn up earth, and thus carries the potential for damage to a site and its artifacts or features. As a field project focused on minimally invasive techniques, why include augering as a methodological choice? This is a question that archaeologists must face in all of our chosen survey strategies and is often one of the most difficult to defend.

While augering does come with a certain set of downfalls, it ultimately helps decrease the need for larger excavations or test-trenches being dug, as augering gives us a quick snapshot of what is happening below the surface and allows us to move on from areas of low interest with as little damage as possible with the technologies currently at hand. Used in conjunction with the images and maps of the Umpqua encampment study area we were able to further narrow the area of our auger survey and use it as an alternative to other more invasive methods of site testing.

The augering method we have chosen for this particular location entails the use of as 20 centimeter (cm) diameter auger used to create test-holes 1 meter (m) deep from the surface. Every 20cm of depth from the surface, the soil picked up in the auger body is visually examined, the sample is contained, and further examination in a lab setting will follow. Lab based examination is done in order to detect inclusions such as small artifacts as well as faunal and floral remains that may not be readily visible to us in the field.

Each test hole is a minimum of 10m apart, covering a total area of about 60m x 100m. Once we have completed creating these test-holes, they will be mapped using Trimble GNSS Receivers in order to preserve the site-survey information. This information will serve to prevent needless augering of the same area in the future if the site remains unidentifiable once our initial survey is complete. If the site is identified through augering as hoped, we will have avoided enlisting the use of more invasive methodologies as previously described.

Last, and most importantly, this work will help to answer a variety of questions posed by the THPO regarding the historic Umpqua encampment site, such as where it is located, what activities took place there, and the ways in which Umpqua peoples relocated to the reservation began to make a new home and community for themselves. Answering the questions posed by the community most affected by archaeological research is the ultimate goal of all Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), and one that we hope to meet in every aspect of the work that we do.

Invitations, Relationships and Reality

We were waiting for Scott’s phone to download a video from “Epic Meal Time”, some extreme food show, when a tribal member came over to invite us to the plank house. During this specific week and weekend, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde was holding a Powwow to honor all Veterans. Although the main event would take place during the weekend, there were smaller, more intimate events going on for those who had come to camp out early. And because of this, I was personally shocked to have been invited. A couple of us forgot about Scott and his video (sorry Scott!) and literally jumped up to follow the tribal member to the plank house.

As soon as we entered, the smell of burning cedar greeted us. There was a small gathering of people sitting in the stands with a fire pit centered between them. We sat near the entrance, quietly but excited we all patiently waited for the ceremony to start. Others from our camp came a little after us, they at least got to see Scott’s video. And then, the event began.

We did our best to go along with the event. We stood up when everyone stood up and sat down when they all sat down. We had the chance to hear the history of the building, staring in awe at the size of the cedar pillars. They told creation and traditional stories throughout the event. We participated in a dance called the Heron dance. We would jog around the building and when a certain beat was made we had to stop immediately, go side to side, forward and when we leaned back we threw our hands in the air and shouted “Hey!”. I found it fun but also educationally and personally important that we went.

Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology is a community-based project, meaning that we have been working side by side on an equal pedestal with the help of community members. Although we are excavating the schoolhouse with the CTGR’s permission, we have been working closely only with a handful of tribal members. Attending this event gave us the opportunity to interact with different members, members who maybe weren’t so keen on outsiders coming, members who are hesitate about trusting archaeologists.

Often times, as school-oriented students, it can be easy to place history in an unreachable distance, making it harder to grasp the reality of it. For me, I can read all about archaeology and the methods and tools that come with it, but it’s a completely different experience when I go out into the field and put them in practice. And it was the same with learning about the history of the CTGR. It’s hard to actually understand a culture until you can interact with it. Words can only do so much and can only paint a mental image so detailed. Seeing it person, for me, was a reality check. I was reminded of them not completely trusting us as archaeologists, as one elder put it, he’s “watching us”. When he spoke these words, I could feel the long and deep distrust Native Americans have towards archaeology.  It was a reminder that the people whose presence we were in are descendants of the ones who went to the school house. This added to the amount of pressure on us. But also a served to remind us that what we are doing, working with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, is a great honor. And it is important to be respectful.