This summer I participated in the Florida Atlantic University archaeology field school in Salango, Ecuador. The experience was amazing. It gave me a chance to participate in several stages of an archaeological project: survey, excavation, and laboratory work. The highlight of the project was excavation. Through it, we determined that the site was used for habitation and small scale craft production. For instance, we located multiple clay ovens, two large trash pits, many ceramics, stone drills and blades, and personal adornments from antiquity. I was excited to find a tupi during my work, a carved bone pin with a small human figure at one end that, in ancient times, people used to decorate clothing or their hair. The only big problem we faced was the large tarantula holes in the excavation units that contained multiple live spiders. We were careful to avoid these creatures.
After we completed excavations, we processed and documented the materials that we located and wrote a report for the Department of Patrimony in Ecudaor. The report took a great deal of time, but was very rewarding in that my name appeared on the reported outcome of our labor.
The field school in Ecuador was an amazing experience. I was able to explore a new country while doing work that I really enjoyed. In addition, I practiced my Spanish. The experience definitely helped me to decide that I want to do more archaeology in the future. I want to use my mad trowel skills!