So today was the last day of field school and it was a very exciting day! We worked until noon, trying our hardest to complete all the things that needed to be done. We prepared our pits for backfilling also. Part of that was placing poker chips with “Aztalan 2013” on them so that if a future excavation comes across our units they will know who did it.
The Wisconsin DNR helped us backfill all the units with a bulldozer which significantly decreased the amount of time it would have taken us to backfill the pits by shoveling. There was a storm before they got there so all the soil was very wet and difficult to move. All of us were wet and cold but armed with our shovels and rakes, we followed the bulldozer around from pit to pit, stomping in holes, leveling the ground, and raking it prepare for seeding. We had to fill a total of sixteen units, some of which were connected to others. The deep pits that we have been digging for five weeks are now pretty much gone, all that is left are square shaped patches that lack grass.
The next step to wrapping up the excavation was cleaning all the equipment, a couple of the students had to take the shovels and buckets in to town to wash them, the rest of us stayed back at camp to clean and sort what we could. My job was to clean the rust off of the files we use to sharpen our trowels. When the equipment came back we loaded everything up in the U-Haul and besides our own personal packing we are ready to go! Overall, the clean up day was really fun, everyone’s spirits were high knowing we would be sleeping in our own beds very soon. This was a great experience that I will never forget!