16 Photos - Jun 7, 2012
Photo: Grayal Farr moving the Geoprobe from one spot to the other (FSU Anthropology alumni).  Highly portable with a small footprint the FSU Geoprobe is a valuable compliment to more traditional archaeological strategies.Photo: Geoprobe samples are almost non-intrusive in terms of sampling archaeological sites and  the FSU system has been used in Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana.   Here is a sample from the Bay West site on the west coast of Florida.  Nice shell midden recovery here.Photo: Farr on the go.  Normally the Geoprobe folks fit the 54LT with tracks and is self propelled but for archaeology we sometimes move 100s of meters between samples and the ATV provides more rapid movement and works well for us.Photo: Geoprobe provides a special knife that splits the cores open for visual inspection and subsampling (soil, pollen, etc.).Photo: Doran preparing for sample removal.  Some teams have used this system to go  over 100 ft. below ground surface.  In archaeology all our work has been limited to no more than about 7 meters which is usually deep enough for archaeological needs (along the Lateral E Canal at Vero) - major water improvement construction in the background.  If Doran steps back a meter he goes into the canal and drops about 6 meters below where he is standing.  It is surprisingly deep.  Vero continues to be a bit of a puzzle.  There is lots of Pleistocene megafauna from the site as well as a small amount of human skeletal material.  The fundamental question is 'Are they of the same age?'  It has been a problem for over 100 years.  We have posted several articles on Vero to provide more information.Photo: Dr. Tom Stafford, of Stafford Labs, examining and recording cores.  Soil tells us many stories that help us understand prehistoric occupations and site development.  You could generally regarded such studies as 'geoarchaeology'.Photo: Dr. Jack Rink preparing to take readings for OSL dating at Salt Springs in Marion County.  FSU faculty and staff have collaborated with Rink on a number of projects particularly for OSL dating of buried sediments (optically stimulated luminescence).  Rink (McMaster University, Canada) specializes in OSL dating and has several research projects in Florida and the southern US.  Collectively we have looked at a number of 'Paleoindian' sites around the state.  He has an interested in  dating coastal landforms and beach lines.Photo: Commercial Geoprobe operation on the top of the tallest Crystal River Mound.  The FSU Geoprobe is better suited for shallower coring and less steep inclines.   We looked at the route to the top and figured the FSU Geoprobe was too underpowered to make it to the top safely.  This is a substantially 'bigger brother' of the Anthropology Department's Geoprobe.  There are even larger systems than this one that look like they ought to be crawling across the lunar landscape.  (Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Crystal River, Fl.  - May 2011)Photo: Geoprobing at the Gault site, central Texas.  Samples were given to Dr. Michael Collins director of the site.  Paleoindian material here is pretty shallow.  We were probing through a burned rock midden (3000 or so years old)  and going to bedrock which was only about 2.5 meters below ground surface (summer 2001).Photo: Removing soil for more detailed chemical analysis.  Some analysis can be done in the field (visual inspection) but most work takes place in the lab.Photo: Strata are nicely visible in the opened core.  This one is from Vero, Florida and the 'lump' above the scale is a piece of Pleistocene megafauna bone.  This one came from the west side of the Lateral E Canal from about 4 meters below ground surface.Photo: In some work we have dropped glass beads into the hole to provide clear markers from one drive to the other (they can be seen in the upper core - blue and red).  Sometimes this helps identify soil slumping into the hole.Photo: Geoprobe sample liners come in several sizes and diameters depending on the Geoprobe system you are using and the size of the macrosample (metal tube basically) you are pushing into the sediments.  Here are the two we generally use.Photo: Geoprobe team at Shields Mound in Jacksonville.Photo: Geoprobing at Buckeye Knoll - a little dry channel of the Guadalupe River near Victoria, Texas.  Great pollen preservation.  Burials dating to the last 6500 years (several time intervals) are on the knoll east of here.  Buckeye Knoll is the third largest skeletal collection in North American older than 6000 years.Photo: Pulling a liner from the sample tube.  Wynnhaven site near Panama City.  That is Dr. Bruce Albert's right elbow - he was doing the pollen analysis on these samples as well as from the Big Sandy site in Texas (pdf posted on the webpage under 'Read More About - Geoprobe'.  He also ran a pollen sweep from the Salt Springs site (Marion County, Fl.).