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Artefact of the day 21st July

July 22, 2017

The artifact of the day is a very large, very beautiful point made of ground slate. It was found by Anna in the westernmost part of the house floor covering the central boardwalk. The edges are still sharp – a still deadly hunting weapon.

This point probably tipped a wooden lance foreshaft used for killing sea mammals after they had been harpooned. In previous seasons we’ve found foreshafts with the broken stems of the points still in place.

Nunalleq in the fog

July 22, 2017

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This morning we were driving out into a white hue… Talking loudly on our walk across the tundra to warn any bears hidden in the fog. The only animals we encountered on site were no-see-ums. Thankfully the wind picked up after lunch and the little beasts disappeared with the fog…

Today we took away some wall extensions and leveling layers and the features of this earlier occupation phase became more defined. In the process we discovered several post holes, which give us yet another clue to the architecture of the house.

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It looks like our current boardwalk is resting on an older one – Anna and John was uncovering a house floor connected to the older boardwalk, and the house floor above it (the one they were removing) contained some of the finest artefacts of the day (among them THE artefact of the day, which has a post of its own).

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Leather pice on top of house floor

Charlotta

Rick’s favourite

July 21, 2017

This artifact is a personal favorite – it is a model kayak bow piece, a minature version of the full-sized but incomplete kayak bow piece we found earlier this week. Now we have an accurate idea of what kayak bows looked like at least in this part of Yup’ik Alaska. Kayak bows in Alaska were important ethnic identifiers and could be used to differentiate friend from foe at a distance as kayakers approached.

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Rick

Artefact of the Day July 20

July 21, 2017

The artefact of the day was actually found by Jonathan a couple of days ago – but recovered today when the context was ‘freed’. It is a decorated uluaq handle with ivory insets on the sides and on top. When cleaned we also discovered a little seal face had been carved on the side – the bearded seal design that we have seen on bowl bottoms, labrets, and masks… The carved thumb notch has been cleverly used as the mouth of the seal. That soon made this handle everybody’s favourite object of the day.

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Bugs and Bowls

July 21, 2017

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Sun is back on Nunalleq, and after a few days of cold and rain we are happy to see it, even though it makes it harder to see when digging. The first no-see-ums also found their way to the site this morning, but thankfully the wind picked up rather early and blew them away 🙂

Véro tended to her fly traps that were full of creepy-crawlies, wiggly-wormies, and dead flies. At least the traps are working….

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The site is beginning to change character these days. The large cuts have transformed into house floors, the walls have shrunk and become more defined, and new boards and corners have showed up. It’s quite exciting to see the different development stages of the house.

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Much house floor has been removed, and therefore we also had many fine artefacts today. We reached no. 500 at the end of the day.

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Half a mask found by Richard in a context that is not house floor, but a intermediate in a deep soddy layer filling up a ditch-like space before the placing of a boardwalk. Most of our full size masks and mask fragments are found in similar liminal spaces.

The bowls in the heading may need an explanation. In the morning Véro found a nicely carved bowl, and just a few minutes later Charlotta also found a carved bowl – but a toy version only a few cm big. We can now add a bowl to the Nunalleq toy collection 🙂

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Charlotta

Artefact of the Day July 19th

July 20, 2017

The artefact of the day is a little ivory seal with a cute face, found by John in the central house floor. John has been wanting to find a fine pice of art for the sake of art itself. And here it is 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We have a couple of figurines like this in the collection from previous years, but they are rare.

Happy Birthday Rick!

July 20, 2017

Today is Rick’s birthday, and that was celebrated with potato pancakes, biskits and gravy for breakfast, surprise pizza on the site and a luxurious roast with double deserts for dinner… The rest of the celebration took place on site, where house floor was dug by the birthday boy and his lieutenants Justin and John. Other crew members spent their time in debris – the site changed a lot today…

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Another thing that changed a lot was the weather. It simply couldn’t make up its mind, baking hot sun one minute, rain the next…

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Tea break was called by Mike who came whooshing down the beach with fresh pizza and root beer!

Thus refreshed we continued in our house floors and debris until it was time to go back to camp – and devour the feast Mike had prepared for us there.

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Charlotta