Wednesday, August 14, 2013

8/14/13 - Sandy Conditions, Seeds of Two Storms & CAP Program

Low Tide This Morning on One Treasure Coast Beach
The beach conditions were terrible this morning, except for the nice calm and inviting surf.  The sand was bad.

In the above photo you can see a number of negatives.  First, is the convex built-up loose sandy beach front.  Second, is the sand bar right in front of the beach.  The line of white water shows where the water was breaking on the east side of the sand bar which was right up next to the front of the beach. And third is the sea weed.  All three are signs of poor detecting conditions.  The gradual slope of the old cut above the beach front is another bad sign.

I had some things planned today for the blog but forgot to take the materials that I was going to use for an illustration to the beach.  Maybe that was just as well because I was hitting the wrong button on my video camera and getting still shots rather than videos.  I would have been really disgusted if my well planned experiment was beautifully executed and then got home to find that I failed to capture it on video.

Anyhow, it turns out that not only did I fail to conduct my planned experiment designed to illustrate the effect of the shape of an object on how it sinks, but I also failed to get any videos.

At least the photos show some nice features that shows the beach conditions.

Another Photo Showing Gentle Surf Breaking on Sand in Front of Beach.
I'll just have to conduct my experiment some other day in the near future.

I did see one area where there was about a three foot cut that ran for some distance.  It wasn't the same one that I showed a few days ago at Jensen Beach, but it was another beach that was rapidly losing renourishment sand.

As you would suspect, those cuts don't produce much of anything old unless old objects were in the sand that was dumped on the beach, as it appears happened on AmberSands Beach.  There were some older US coins in some of that renourishment sand.

If you think about it, really a lot of our beaches are covered with renourishments sand.   It seems like most of South Hutchinson Island has been covered in recent times.

Back earlier this year there was a bit of a movement to initiate a Civilian Archaeology Permit program, that was in some ways similar to the old Isolated Finds program.   The Florida Public Archaeology Network came out against it.

Here is a discussion of the failed Isolated Finds Policy and objections to the proposed Citizens Archaeology Permit program as expressed by FPAN.  Notice that it doesn't address beach finds where there is no archaeological context.

You should read their comments.  Here is the link.

Did you notice how "archaeological site" is defined?   Here it is.

• Florida defines an archaeological site as three or more artifacts within a 30 meter diameter area that are not obviously redeposited (Division of Historical Resources, Cultural Resource Standards & Operational Manual, Module 3, Guidelines for Use by Historic Preservation Professionals, Section Site Bounding, p.18-19).

As we know, most everything on a beach from the swash to the dunes has been redeposited.  A beach is composed of redeposited sand.  That is what a beach is.  And then when you consider all of the trucked in or dredged sand dumped on our beaches, you realize that besides the naturally redeposited materials, there is a massive amount of redeposited material on top of that as the result of all the beach renourishment programs.

Since finds on the beach are redeposited, they have no real archaeological value.  That is exactly what the archaeologists tell us about artifacts out of context.  Therefore there is no reason that the beaches should not be open to recreational activities for the public, including the collecting of artifacts.

I've stated before my favorable impression of the ery successful British model that provides a clear mechanism for reporting and handling other finds.

I have never gone out hunting Indian artifacts.  I have found a few.  Anyone who spends a lot of time on the beach will find a little of everything eventually - old things being no exception.  It is unavoidable if you are on the beach and keep your eyes open.  You'll see whatever the sea presents to you at any particular time.  The ocean constantly turns over material, sometimes dumping everything from aluminum junk to space shuttle debris to old stone artifacts on the beach.  Those things are constantly being worn away by the constant churning.  They might be brought to the surface and appear for a short time and then disappear with the next tide never to be seen again for years or decades, and if they do appear again, they'll likely be much worse for the wear.   That is just the way the beach is.

Anyhow, I hope you'll read the above linked article.

There are now two low pressure areas that have a very good chance of developing into tropical cyclones.  One is just coming off of Africa and the other is down below Cuba.  We'll have to wait and see how they develop.  Until then we can expect more of the same hot weather and poor detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast.

I had such a hard time getting my act together today I'm surprised that I even finished this post.

Happy hunting,