It’s autumn, which is my favorite season. It’s a time of reflection. We look at how we’ve been doing this year and how it compares against previous years. Part of that is to predict how quickly we can complete the remaining projects. We’re in the race against winter and it offers its own challenges to archaeologists.
The days are now getting short enough that we have to start adapting our work schedule to maximize the daylight. Soon, the opportunities to have a 10-hour day will disappear, as sunrise happens later and later. This isn’t all bad, however. A later start time can mean more sleep at night.
The students have all returned to classes, leaving us with a smaller field crew.
The weather is cooler and generally less predictable. Will we see a lot of rain? Will we have an early snow? When will the ground freeze? When will the leaves fall, obscuring the ground surface and preventing any meaningful surface survey? To put it simply, will conditions let us get our projects done in time?
Usually, the variables work out in our favor (thanks in part to some conservative planning), and as a result, autumn holds that refreshing feeling of wrapping up the field season.