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Special Project – Topo Mapping

On Wednesday our partners from the National Park Service’s Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) gave us a lesson on their Total Station so that we can create a topographic map (topo map) of the site. This type of map will allow us to very clearly see the elevation differences between the natural landform and the human-modified features. We also use the GPS function on the Total Station to accurately record the location of our archaeological activities such as shovel tests, excavation units, and site datum.

The first part of the lesson was in how to set up the Total Station on its tripod, insure it is level, and turn it on.

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FSU Archaeological Field School students and field assistant Kelly L. learn how to set up the Total Station. Thadra Palmer Stanton and Andrew McFeaters of the Southeast Archeological Center (National Park Service) are great teachers!

Then we learned how to record our data in the on-board computer and in a Field Transit book.  After the lesson, Field School field assistant Kelly L., worked with two of the undergraduate students to begin recording points.

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FSU Archaeological Field School field assistant Kelly L., sights in on a point.

We estimate we will record over a thousand points in the next few weeks. We’re looking forward to the results of our careful topo mapping work.

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Associate Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University Zooarchaeologist Awesome dessert maker