Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Rowan Oak Bonus

I was going to put this in my post last week on Faulkner's Rowan Oak, but I had so many photos in the post already that Blogger was getting balky and I was afraid I would lose the whole thing.

After I had finished walking through the house, I went back to my car, got my unipod, and started taking exterior pictures of the house and grounds. As I was walking around, I looked down at the ground frequently (I can't help it - I'm an archaeologist) and saw lots of historic artifacts lying around. They were just the sort of ceramic and glass fragments you would expect to see around a house largely occupied in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They have been having a drought in that part of the country, too, and the grass had given way to bare spots on some portions of the lawn. You can see some in the picture above.

 So, I look down into one of the bare spots and there is this nice prehistoric chert flake lying there. I got the attention of the Ole Miss student who was selling tickets and got him to come over so I could show him what I had found and where I had found it. Turned out he had a minor in anthropology, and had attended an archaeology field school the previous summer, so he knew exactly what I was talking about. While we were talking I found another flake (of quartzite) a couple of feet away. The student took them and said he would give them to the curator and explain their significance.

Faulkner was fascinated by Indians historic and prehistoric, and they are a prominent theme in his fiction. I don't know if he was aware he had a prehistoric site in his yard, but I am sure he would have been pleased if he did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could just see Faulkner "seeding" just such artifacts on his property in hopes of getting just such attention! So rarely is anyone qualified enough to even notice, though--and imagine--TWO of you on the same day at the same time! What are the odds? I work in a zoo and am always making fake lion, elephant, and gorilla tracks in any soft substrate along the walkways or construction areas, just to see if anyone would notice(and perhaps be a bit perturbed that such critters might be loose and roaming about), but almost never does anyone notice--folks are too dang civilized to notice tracks much these days. Much less ancient artifacts!....L.B.