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A very successful first week

July 12, 2015

It was a beautiful day on site today – sunny, warm, bug free, the perfect end to the first week of excavation. John and Seton worked most of the day to retrieve the large number of wonderfully preserved artefacts laying beneath the thick layer of moss, an extension of last year’s equally rich deposit. In the meantime, the rest of us concentrated on getting as much of the building debris removed from the other 32 square meters as possible, screening carefully all 125 buckets of dirt and recording in situ almost 100 artefacts, among which today’s artefact of the day: a fragment of clay lamp with the wick still preserved. Well done Renee for spotting this very unique find!


Artefact of the day: Lamp fragment with wick still preserved

Lamps at the site are often difficult to identify because they can at times be mistaken for blobs of grey clay, especially when fragmented. We now have quite a collection from the past couple of years and, thanks to the sharp eye of everyone in the crew, over the last few days we have added several more to the assemblage. Lamps can be found in house floors, as those recovered by Emily, John and Seaton, or mixed in the collapse of the houses, often baked almost to cinders due to the extreme temperatures, as the complete examples found by Jonathan and Véro. The good weather has also brought an increasing number of visitors to both the site and our base in Quinhagak, and we have ourselves been renewing friendships and catching up on the village news: the passing of an respected elder, changes to the fishing season, the increasing difficulty in finding caribou due to the lack of snow, the successes of the school’s sports teams… We have been delighting on the smoked salmon strips with which many people have welcomed us back, and on a generous invitation to maqiq or steam bath (thank you ladies!).


Vanessa and Ignatius ‘Apa’ Hunter helping screening

Tomorrow is our day off, with its usual plans for laundry, swimming or fishing, going for walks around the village, checking the site records and washing/cleaning artefacts. But only after a well deserved snooze in the morning and one of Cheryl’s outstanding breakfasts.


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