Simen Oestmo: Week 5, Extra Curricular Activities

During a typical field season here in Mossel Bay, the excavation team enjoys themselves with other activities when not digging in the dirt. Weekends are filled with investigating the tide pools at the beach in front of the “Bobby House” (the house where we stay), trips to the local shopping mall, restaurant visits in Mossel Bay, doing braai’s (BBQ) at the “Bobby House,” and occasionally a trip to a local game reserve or out on a great white shark research boat. So far this season, all of these things has happened except for the trip out with great white shark research boat. Some of these things of course have happened several times already like the braai, which we normally arrange once every weekend, sometimes twice. This country is braai crazy. If you drive around the neighborhood here in Reebok (the small town outside of Mossel Bay), or anywhere else for that matter, you will see that almost every single house has either an inside built-in braai place or an outside braai. So, like the locals, we also like braai’s!

The calibrated crossbow with an actual hafted stone tool ready to be shot. No actual animals were “killed” with this implement.

Some weekends, a few of us work on different experiments. We have built a calibrated crossbow that can either be used to simulate a thrusting-spear motion or shoot projectile weapons. Put simply, we are using the calibrated crossbow as tool in our effort to investigate stone tool functionality. In paleoanthropology, there is a huge amount of debate on when and where projectile weapons where invented, so some of our experiments relate to investigating that.

At the cave/research site, there is time and room for enjoyment as well. Down by the water close to PP5-6, there is a fairly big tide pool that, when the tide is right, is suitable for jumping into and diving. This crew favorite “swimming pool” offers a cool relief when the days gets hotter. Last week, Kyle, Ben, and Kevin tested it out and they, in a effort to join some sort of synchronized diving club, attempted a three-man mid-air high-five. Unfortunately I could not capture the exact moment when the high-five occurred, but I promise it happened.

Down by our site "swimming pool." Kyle Brown, Kevin Gierhahn, and Ben Schoville moments before the three-man aerial high-five was successfully completed.

Med vennelig hilsen (Norwegian for “best wishes”)!

Simen

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