History Nebraska Blog

Water Screening Discoveries

 

What's the first thing that pops into your head when you think of archeology? Was it washing piles of dirt through a screen? If not, let us tell you about water screening. It's one of the messier parts of discovering our history.

It's fairly easy to identify and pick out the large objects when excavating a site. But not all artifacts are big enough to be easily noticed right away. Water screening is for those smaller artifacts, allowing archeologists to find things that would otherwise go undiscovered.

Of course, not everything that comes up in the screen is important. Below, we have some roots and limestone that were screened from dirt excavated at our volunteer dig at Courthouse Rock in September.

 

But with persistence, attention to detail, and a decent amount of mud-stained clothes, the important things can come to light. Below, we have bone fragments and flakes from stone tool making, also screened from dirt excavated at our volunteer dig at Courthouse Rock in September.

This is only one small part of the work our archeologists do. If you want to learn more about their work to explore Nebraska's deep past, come see our newest exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum!

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