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Yet another Monday

August 20, 2013

Rain, who cares?This is how we rollWhen opening the curtains this morning it was pitch black outside, at first one doubted the sun had actually risen. However, as the morning progressed it got brighter and brighter, and by the time we came out to site one could actually make out the mountains in the horizon. Despite this, the Monday weather could not be accused of being welcoming, but our brave crew defied the ghastliness of it all and kept the spirits up with new exciting finds.

We’re in our last full week of digging, and have so much left to dig; things are starting to get a bit franticDripping on the paperwork.... We’re down to proper cultural layers, and it shows. A full page of artefacts were recorded today, some of them very fine. Marissa with her spirit wormOur volunteer crew member for the day – Marissa, who helped out all day, found an ivory piece in the form of a worm. The worm figures in a number of Yup’ik myths and stories. This is the nicest piece of ivory we’ve found this season. More woven grass basketry and grass ropes turned up today as well, the collection of these spectacular (it is close to unique to find grass artefacts preserved in an archaeological context) pieces have now grown rather impressive. Area AIn area A three different rooms have been clearly identified, and today an earlier version of the boardwalk was excavated. It is not in the exact same place that it got reworked into later, but it is very exciting to see these different episodes of building and rebuilding the house. Area BIt is clear that the structure in area B will never turn into the spectacular house we hoped for when we set up the squares (although we did find the mask in this “pile of rubbish” as some people have taken to refer to the poor site). The different living areas have all been disturbed by demolition and dumping, we believe that this is an older, or abandoned, structure that was used for a rubbish pit and turned into a midden contemporaneous with the occupation of the latest (17th century) area A house. Middens are very informative for archaeologists, but they will never produce nice house floors. Even so three contexts of disturbed living surfaces were removed from area B today, and we are coming very close to the natural – except in the southeast corner where we have our nice looking house floor, and no way of knowing how deep it is until we go into it. A happy KentA happy VeroWe are still hoping to finish area B in the following days, so we can focus all our forces on area A for the rest of the time. The crew will diminish over the next few days, starting with the departure of our bonus member Kent tomorrow. Kent has been a real asset to us, not least in his skilful mastering of the total station – of which we will now have to manage ourselves… To send Kent off on a good note, the weather turned after lunch, and gave us a really nice afternoon (who would have thought this morning). Fingers x’d it will stay 🙂 – one works so much better when not dripping wet…


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