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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Equipment and Accommodations

Page address: http://sbs.mnsu.edu/anthropology/fieldschools/archaeology/2012/2012fieldschoolequipandcamping.html

Anthropology 480/580: Fieldwork in Archeology
May 21st to June 22nd, 2012: Site Survey in Red Wing

Required Equipment (* when only recommended)

NOTE: you are responsible for purchasing/supplying all of your own equipment.

Field Equipment:
  • Pencils, fine point Sharpie® markers, and a field notebook (to become part of the site documentation)
  • 3-meter metal retractable tape measure (note, METRIC!)
  • Trowels – must be SOLID FORGED BLADE AND HANDLE – NOT WELDED – Marshalltown is the traditional brand, but others are acceptable:
    • Marshalltown Pointing Trowel Models 45-5D or 45-6D
    • Marshalltown Margin Trowel Model 52-D
    • *Files for shaping and sharpening your trowels
    • Note:  pointing trowels with curved edges will need considerable re-shaping to achieve a straight edge – a good fireside project
  • Line level (plastic is best)
  • Sighting compass (e.g., Suunto’s Challenger A-1000, or the Brunton 26DNL-CL)
  • Field pack (Typically a backpack bent on destruction will suffice.)
  • Rain gear!
Camping Equipment:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • *Sleeping pad or cot
  • Insect repellent (3M’s “Ultrathon” recommended)
  • Cooler (for personal food)
  • Water jug
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight and batteries
Accommodations
  • Location - we will be camping on site, literally. The camping area is fill generated from scraping other parts of the site and depositing the material onto a now-buried portion of the village. Consequently, we do not have to worry about modest surface disturbances. The Trail has requested that we camp out of sight of the trail so that trail users do not see the tents. Remember, this is NOT a public area and we need to keep a relatively low profile.
  • Tenancy - it is assumed that campers will be staying on site only during the week and will be returning home for the weekends.  It is acceptable for campers to stay through the weekend, but only if there is more than one person staying.  Under no circumstances will individuals be permitted to camp alone.  We will be able to leave the tents set up only if there are weekend campers; if nobody will be staying over the weekend, we will have to break and reestablish camp weekly.  Remember:  what you bring, you care for, so don’t bring more than you need.
  • Setting - the camping area is wooded and some areas have thick undergrowth.  The larger trees provide excellent anchor points for tarps, etc., and provide some measure of shelter from the elements.  Please choose your camping spot accordingly.  The professor has a manual weed scythe to cut down the herbaceous ground cover for tent spots.  It is possible that some toxic plants (e.g., poison ivy) exist at the site, although they have not been seen there.  The local soils are typically well-drained, so ponding during rains is not usually a problem. 
  • Environment - the camping area is immediately (but well) above the Cannon River delta into the Mississippi, a substantial wetland, and the mosquito population is both abundant and fierce.  Come prepared with LOTS of insect repellant (I highly recommend 3M’s “Ultrathon”), and perhaps a spare quart of blood.  In addition, working in tall grass and wooded margins is an ideal environment for wood and deer ticks.  Campers will want to be very attentive to conducting tick checks on a daily basis.  Be aware that some species of both mosquitos and ticks can transmit exotic viruses; pay close attention to your physical condition and bring concerns to the attention of the professor immediately.