Erik Luis Alvarado

University of Montana

Fort Missoula Archaeological Field School

During our time in the lab last week we were shown a piece of gilded floral porcelain. The plate fragment has intricate designs inlaid with gold and design elements including a bird and floral pattern. We also observed a “mending moment” in the lab. Dr. Dixon loves these moments. A mending moment is when you find two fragments of the same artifact in different places and they fit together (cue Chariots of Fire theme song).

Mending Moment in the field....if you recognize this pattern please let us know!

Mending Moment in the field….if you recognize this pattern please let us know!

While excavating my unit within the block, a fragment of gilded floral pattern porcelain appeared out of the dirt. After a moment of field artifact identification, I was told that the plate fragment from my unit might possibly be from the same vessel as the piece of porcelain that we observed in the lab. We happened to have the piece from the lab on site for an assignment, and Dr. Dixon compared the two fragments in the field, which fit together…. ‘Mending Moment’ achieved (cue Chariots of Fire theme song). Feeling inspired yet?..I love the theme song from Chariots of Fire. I wish I could have a boombox blasting the song when Dr. Dixon, or anyone for that matter, has a mending moment.

Casting on the Bitterroot River.

Casting on the Bitterroot River.

Never thought that I would have the chance to fish everyday in the field….AWESOME. I believe that a cast a day keeps the bad vibes away. Caught a fish on Tuesday as well. I think it was a squaw fish ….which is an invasive species that preys upon native trout and salmon. Should have banked it. Let it be known that the social dynamic of this field school is fantastic. Good people and good vibrations is one way to describe this experience (cue Chariots of Fire theme song).

Good vibes and great people! L-R Fosco Bugoni, Micah Goodman, Kyle Burke, Tommy Livoti, Andrew Carrara, Erik Alvarado, Amanda Gerber, and Sean Jubb.