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Racing against time…

August 17, 2017

We are working day and night to try to finish the excavation block, hence the silence on the blog… But here’s a short update (in pictures) of the last few days finds:

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This small mask was found on a side room  house floor. We think that this floor may be among the first deposited within this year’s excavation block. This year we have more than doubled the combined total of the masks recovered during the previous six field seasons.

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Sandra poses with a complete bentwood bowl she excavated today at the site. It was found upright in a deep storage pit.

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Here is a complete kayak bow piece. It was found in the corner of the house and had been used as a gaming dart target. One gaming dart, complete with bone point was found next to it.

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A hafted ground slate uluaq and a pendant made from a beluga tooth.

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A fragment of what appears to be a bentwood visor, with a portion of the original surface painting still intact. Like many pieces from this level, the wood is still bright.

Masks and NATURAL(!)

August 15, 2017

We’re digging on overtime at Nunalleq. Originally we should have been back-filling today, but we are so close to finishing the site we decided to keep on digging. Alice left Quinhagak yesterday, and Drew and Josh took off this morning. However, our crew was strengthened by Roy working with us all day today. Fitting then that he also found the artefact of today – half a full-size mask, a seal again.

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A few hours later Lise found another mask in the same context – mushy, squishy, stinky weirdness outside the wall as it is – it is full of surprises 🙂

In the afternoon we got more reinforcement from the village. Meta came and screened for us for a few hours – and had a few nice finds from the house floor she was screening for Rick.

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And so to the BIG excitement of the day (at least when you’re only a few days away from ultimate close down) – We have hit natural (that non-cultural clay in the bottom that’s been mentioned a few times before in the blog…) under the really dense nice house floor in the northwest corner – quite unexpectedly. One wouldn’t expect a floor like that to be resting straight on natural, but you cannot argue with the archaeology 🙂 The southestern-most part of the site is also almost entirely down to natural – it’s starting to look like we may be able to reach our goal after all (fingers x’d)!!!

Charlotta 

Show and tell August 13

August 14, 2017

Yesterday we had our Show and Tell, where the nicer pieces of the season were on display for the members of the community to see, interact with artefacts and archaeologists, and tell their stories of things and times in the past.

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End of week 6 crew picture

August 13, 2017
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Nuff said…

Day of uluaqs – August 12

August 13, 2017

Today we braved the elements and dug through a Bearing sea storm…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt payed off both in the amount of dirt moved and the number of artefacts retrieved. We brought two coolers full of artefacts back to the lab this evening. We haven’t found many hafted uluaqs this season, but today we found two.

The first uluaq of the day was found in a wall, next to a house post. Almost like it was placed there, or hidden away,

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The second uluaq was found by Patti in our squishy, messy context outside the most southern wall (previously, and maybe still, outer wall) of the house. In the same context Patti also found several handles and blades today. Mysterious.

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Even though it is not an uluaq, this knife must also be mentioned among todays cutting blades. It was found on the house floor of the northwestern side room, which is getting more and more pronounced, and also larger and larger. It is a finely ground and very sharp slate knife blade set into a decorated caribou antler handle.

Here’s a taste of today’s weather:

 

Artefact of the day August 11

August 12, 2017

The artefact of the day was found by contemporary artist and mask maker Drew Michael in a house floor close to the central posts.

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Drew: “What a dream and gift to be able to be a part of this process”. 

 

Artefact of the day August 10

August 12, 2017

The artefact of the day was a little ivory figurine found by Rick in a wall made up from redeposited house floor (and sod). It is a little puffin we think, with wood insets decorating the wings.

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The vote was decided by all the shrieks it’s cuteness caused when it came out of the dirt.

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Although it’s face kind of looks like Jack Skellington from Nightmare before Christmas.