The artefact of the day is an ulu with the blade still attached. Coincidently it was found by Tricia, who is an expert on ulus :) . This ulu is especially nice as its handle is shaped like a seal, and when you look even closer – as John Smith showed us when he looked at the finds this evening – it is also a whale. We have ulus of avery difference sizes, and they were used from everything to sewing (tiny ulus) to processing whales – or seals :)
Today we exposed the boardwalk in the entrance to the house completely. It is quite exciting as a feature; by the entrance is a huge posthole lined with boards (so deep we still haven’t reached the bottom), and to the left, when you go in to the house is a crawling space into a little side room – we think it might be a storage room, as it is so close to the entrance. Interestingly enough the entrance to the crawling space is marked by an antler – a hand rest – very much like we have at a crawling space in at the other side of our house. Enough on features – this is the post for the artefact of the day, and this artefact was found by Charlotta in the trampled grass floor covering the board walk in the corner where crawling space meets boardwalk. It is an ivory figurine, or doll, and we think it might have been a gaming piece due to its form. It has a hole in the back of its head which implies it might have been mounted on something.
For two days Chaz has worked on a project of his own in the southwest corner of the excavation block. With ‘new’ (in the stratigraphy these are the oldest) walls coming up we slowly have had to accept that we are not very likely to take the site down to natural this season either. However, we need to get an idea of what to expect, and we need to date the earliest phase of the site. Hence Chaz has been given the task to take said corner down to sterile, and is now digging through old, old house floor. Today he found a boot – which is the artefact of the day. It is a leather boot, beautifully preserved.
The last few days we have been founding a lot of basketry at the site, grass mats and baskets, different weaves and different sizes. The fantastic preservation at the site is no more apparent than when you’re faced with these astonishing pieces. The artefact of the day is a basket – originally found by Charlotta and then taken over by Sven (who’s been the grass master these couple of days). The basket is almost full, and has a rim of different wave. The craftsmanship is, as with most Nunalleq objects, very impressive.
The artefact of the day is a complete clay lamp, found by Sven in the entranceway to the house. The lamps we find at site are usually in very bad shape, and very rarely make it out of the earth in less than a thousand pieces. This lamp, the best lamp we found at the site to this date, made it into it protective wrapping in one piece. It is at least partially burnt, which might explain the stability (usually the lamps are made out of unburnt clay), and there are traces of seal oil still inside it.
Rick filmed this artsy indie documentary the other day “Driving home from site”. This is your chance to experience the village of Quinhagak from inside the van.
The artefact of the day was found by Justin, who works at the Burke Museum as ethnology outreach coordinator at the Burke museum, on his one-day visit to Nunalleq from Washington. It is a point sheath still lashed together and with the point inside. A pretty spectacular find – and need I say quite unique. Point sheaths are used to protect the points when not in use, and the come in all different sizes – from arrows to spears – depending on the point in need of protection. (A photo on the artefact will follow…)