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Artefact(s) of the day August 9

August 10, 2017

Today was a day of bentwood vessels, and we had so many we cannot chose – together they are the artefact category of the day. Two vessels were found at the bottom of a large pit that has been dug straight into the natural (sterile, not effected by human activity) soil. The vessels make us think this is a storage pit – maybe even one dug far into the permafrost to keep foodstuff ‘refrigerated’. Elders have told us of such pits, and the bottom was covered with a layer of wood chips – insulation perhaps?

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Charlotta by her pit

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The first bowl found in the pit

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The second bowl of the pit – with a ownership mark on the bottom

Another vessel was found by Anna just on top of a house floor of a side room in the north-west corner of the trench. Close to the bowl was a hafted uluaq, and also several bones and a caribou tooth. This vessel also had residues of food preserved inside, among them fish bones. Another caribou tooth was also found inside the bowl. The food residues have been kept as a sample, so we might be able to analyse it in the lab to see what it once was.

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The bowl with food residue inside and an uluaq next too it

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The uluaq up close

Two very large bentwood vessel bottoms, the largest one only half, were also uncovered by Alice in a floor just below a board walk. It looked like these vessel bottoms might have been placed on the surface intentionally – maybe to cover a wet spot (this part of the trench is often water logged), or maybe somehow reinforcing the board walk.

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Bentwood vessel bottoms by boardwalk

The bucket bottoms have been used as cutting boards after the bowls broke. We can be sure of this due to all the hundreds of cutting marks in the wood – like any well used cutting board in your kitchen.

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