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Thoughts from a site director

July 17, 2015

IMG_4770Being one of the archaeologists in charge of the Nunalleq excavation is an emotional roller coaster. Some days you start your morning with worries, almost despair, and end the afternoon on an emotional high – in spite of rain and foul weather. Today was such a day. All afternoon yesterday I tried to figure out the relationship between what seems to be house floor, a possible wall and an unidentified context very much looking like collapse but not quite, and nothing made sense. Logic says collapse over house floor – but why then does in look like house floor rests on top of collapse in some places? I started the morning in very much the same way – poking in the soil here and there like a deranged oystercatcher; what is the extension, where is the end, beginning, corner… something? Finally, and hesitantly, deciding a plan of action – ‘draw this, dig here’… dirt moves, and then suddenly you see it – in the middle of digging – what looked the same turns out to be different – parts of collapse turns into wall and re-flooring and over and under take their right places, a context splits in two- and the site makes sense again. You understand. Rename, re-tag, re-sample. From then on progression is quick – walls are uncovered exactly where they should be, roofs, and floors, and rooms take shape. You trowel frenetically until your arm hurts to finish the context before the day ends… And covered in mud from head to toe you mount the four wheeler to drive back to camp along the beach – rain beating down your face. You feel content. This was a good day. We made progress. Maybe we didn’t move more dirt than the other days, maybe even less, but tonight I think we can finish before time runs out. No. Tonight, I know we will.

Charlotta

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marilyn permalink
    July 17, 2015 13:54

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and the fact that what you are doing is not an easy job. Some days are just like that, no matter what you are doing. Reminds me a little of making mud pies playing as a child, but now you are all grown up, and the job is serious. Hmmm

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