As a child I always liked looking at the different colored layers of soil on the side of recently eroded mountains. I enjoyed following a single layer as far as I could and watching the line of the layer randomly curve and straighten out. I liked looking at the soil horizons as the sun would hit them with its rays and they would glisten back. I was taken back to this as I helped the park’s archaeologist analyze the soil horizons visible from the creek trying to unravel stories and events of the past.

^ Here’s a picture of the archaeologist determining which color the soil was using a soil color book for classification.

For the first image:

After wetting and mixing the soil, it was analyzed by following a table and running a couple tests such as the ribbon test. The table helps determine what type of soil it is based on its physical characteristics.