Heinlenville was one of six San José Chinatowns. Archaeologists from the Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University and local San José historians are working with the Redevelopment Agency, City of San José to unearth selected areas of Heinlenville and early Japantown. The test excavation took place from the 11th to 17th March 2008, and data recovery excavation was conducted from the 14th to 23rd of April 2009. Work continues now back at the ASC lab, as we process artifacts and soil samples recovered from the site.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We made it!

Somebody at the end of the day said: “We made it until the ninth day…!” Yes, we made until the last day … though physically we leave the site tomorrow, today was really the last day of work. The last day is normally reserved for finishing things … “sketch map and draw the cross-section of this wall, while I’m going to do the stratigraphy … so, the light clay is underneath the dark clay with inclusions … and next to the dark clay with no inclusions….” Other people would be cutting small sections to find out more about a certain feature … “Oh, no … this pipe seems to go further … we don’t have time for this! Hurry, hurry …” tic, tock … the day is almost gone ….

Our sore muscles and bodies need a rest after so much hard work … mixed feelings of sadness for leaving site, and happiness for a well done job, and because we can go back to our houses, and back to our normal lives … so much we have learned!!! So much we will learn … once we put all the pieces together!!!

Despite my body aching, the partial sunburn and missing my home and friends … I look back and I feel fortunate … I have participated in bringing back to life the lives of many Chinese and Japanese … their stories won’t fall into oblivion.

Rut Ballesteros
Graduate Student