Tuesday, March 13, 2012

UNEV and Archaeology

Remember 3 years ago when I got a new job? Well that job has included many adventures (see here, here, and here). I realized that I haven't done a very good job explaining exactly what I have been doing over the last few years because I wanted to be careful about talking about an ongoing project.

Well, the project is over! Finally! So now I can explain in more detail what I've been up to!

I've been working on the UNEV pipeline which is a petroleum line (that can also carry water, gas, oil, and rocket fuel) which runs from Salt Lake City, UT to Northern Las Vegas, NV. It will be operated by UNEV Pipeline, LLC which is a partnership between Holly Corp. and Sinclair Gas.

A lot of work goes into building a pipeline. So I've come up with a highly condensed list of events.

This is what happens before, during, and after you build a pipeline:

-Frist, you decide that you want a pipeline.

-Next, you hire contractors, lawyers, engineers, etc. and they help you figure out where to put the line.

-Once you decide where you want the line to be, you hire surveyors, environmental inspectors (EI), and archaeologist who will all survey the pipeline corridor. Each team surveys the same areas, however, each team is looking for something different: surveyors look at the land, EIs look at the vegetation and wild life, and archaeologist (that's me!) look for cultural remains.

We, the archaeologist, (1) have to survey the area of potential effect (APE), (2) record anything we find, (3) write up a lot of reports, (4) excavated a few select sites, (5) analyze the findings, (6) write up more reports, (7) monitor the construction of the pipeline, and (8) then write up more reports.

Before construction can even start, we have to get through the first 6 steps! That's a lot of work to do before ground can be broken.

After monitoring and construction are done, the pipeline is ready for the hydro test and then to be used by the company.

For this particular project my company was taking action way back in 2005. We officially had the project and then had to start the long process of surveying and site recording.My company hiked over 500 miles and recorded over 300 cultural sites (historic and prehistoric) during the next few years.In 2009, our company started excavation on 15 different sites in Utah. This is when I came on board.

Excavation Pictures:

[Checking out what is in the dirt]

[Talking things over]

[Screening the dirt in order to find artifacts]


[Using mapping equipment]

[Uncovering a foundation at a CCC camp]

[The grid]

[Sometimes you just don't know what is going on]

[Me digging]

After excavation, I spent the next 6 months analyzing historic artifacts (mainly ceramics and glass).

In late 2010, construction started and we got to spend the next year and a half chasing bulldozers and trackhoes and hiking hundreds of miles for variances and pipeline access roads.

[Me recording a railroad site]

[Historic canal]

[Me recording a trash scatter]

I know what you're thinking. I told you all the details but left out the juiciest stuff! So what did we find?! Well, I'm glad you asked. I'll give you a sneak peek:


[Protohistoric Desert Side-notched projectile point]

[Archaic Mahogany Obsidian Elko Series Projectile Point]
[Fremont Snake Valley Gray Ceramic Fragment]

[Historic artifacts found in a privy]


[Remains of a prehistoric wickiup or "brush structure"]

[Uncovering a historic foundation]

[A lot of work went into systematically uncovering this historic foundation]

Empty pits, a lot of empty pits:

But please go here and find out more!


Tiersha said...

That looks intense!

Rachelle said...

Super cool post!

Leslie Elaine said...

That is crazy, all that work you did. Pretty cool finding old foundations. So what now?

Courtney N said...

Now I am analyzing prehistoric ceramics from an excavation we did in St. George last summer. Don't worry, I'll post about that soon enough! : )

Rebekah said...

Really interesting post! Jared and I like reading about what you do. Thanks for sharing.

Allison said...

Fascinating! Loved reading a little about your professional life. How cool that you're making contributions to historical research as well paving the way for modern technology to "safely" find a route. Not a bad way for a Cali girl to work on a tan, either ;)

khill said...

Artifacts?! Your job is so interesting! It's cool to learn more about it.