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On Nunalleq artefacts in Archaeology

May 24, 2017

Here‘s a note on the curation and return of the Nunalleq artefacts in Archaeology magazine

Nunalleq Evening Express

May 19, 2017

…and the Evening Express also writes about Nunalleq today.

Nunalleq on BBC

May 19, 2017

Herre’s a little report on the upcoming return of the Nunalleq artefacts on BBC

Excavate Nunalleq this summer?

May 16, 2017

Would you like to dig at Nunalleq?

There are still placements not yet filled in our excavation/lab team this summer. Come join us! This year we take on field school students (minimum stay of three weeks), but also volunteers (minimum stay of a week), so even if you have no previous experience or archaeological training, you can still join the team 🙂

You find all information about the excavation/lab here.

Field school ad 2.0

Find of the day

May 15, 2017

I spy, with my little eye something grassy … grassy goggles!

They have been cleaned and packaged by the conservation team today. These are snow goggles and they would have looked like this:


News from Julie’s bench

April 29, 2017

There is nothing like conservation-restoration to uplift my mind as it is so satisfactory to see features revealing themselves, especially when working on the Nunalleq objects! Grass artefacts are undergoing careful cleaning, controlled slow-drying and then packing in a type of mount specially designed for the collection. Every step is well thought to ensure long-term conservation, with respect to the artefacts nature and condition. These complete baskets, mats fragments, and ropes are truly amazing. And the mini basket, is it not adorable?

two baskets

Two baskets with complete rim and body.

Basket before and after conservation.

Close-up of the mini basket, a hanging basket from rim to bottom, and upper part of a basket with grass.

Mat fragments and several sizes of ropes.

This week’s achievement was to finish the restoration of the “turkey” pot. As Rick put it, it was like trying to reconstruct a potato from… crisps!! It is so intriguing to see this bare pot with a simple bulge and a funny shape that bends on the side, while so much care is given to the making of fine leather and wooden artefacts.

turkey pot

The “Turkey” pot after restoration. Sherds were block-lifted, cleaned during slow-drying, adhered. Missing areas were filled and retouched to allow pleasant appearance while remaining distinguishable from original sherds.

I have also been working on a lovely little boot that still has its grass lining in-situ – it is now undergoing atmospheric freeze-drying (AFD). Left or right foot?


boot 2

Before and after cleaning. The boot is then prepared for atmospheric freeze-drying.


Nunalleq dogs…

April 28, 2017

We have many traces of dogs in the Nunalleq material; fur and dog lice that show dogs were present in the house, dog bones, and even the remains of a little puppy that got crushed by the roof falling down when the site was burnt down… We also have traces of dogs in artefacts, even a few objects that have been chewed by puppy teeth, and not least the signs of the working dogs, that show the important role dogs had in the community.

This is a length of braided grass rope with knotted loops that could possibly have been a part of a sled dog harness. If you’re interested in the dogs from the site you can read more about them in this paper, by Ellen et. al. More papers are being prepared on the dogs, so you will be able to find out even more about them in the future…