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Week 3 in the Nunalleq Lab

July 23, 2018

This past week, the Quinhagak youth participating in the National Geographic photography workshop also visited us in the lab. We gave a short introduction to the participants about what we do in the lab and then watched Erika and her colleagues from National Geographic provide them guidance and support in photographing artefacts. The students’ excitement and enthusiasm in capturing their material culture through photography was quite inspiring.

The National Geographic photography workshop students photograph artefacts in the lab.

They were not the only visitors to the lab during the week. Elder John Smith visits us periodically so that he can examine some of the artefacts more closely. We always learn something new about the artefacts when John visits, as he discusses their significance, how they were made, and what they were used for. These occasions that connect us with the Quinhagak community are always special.

Elder John Smith examines the fish lure, the artefact of the day on 16 July, and demonstrated how it was perfectly balanced by resting it on his forefinger.

Another cause for excitement this week was the arrival of more polyethylene glycol (PEG), the polymer we use to conserve the wet wood artefacts. There was some actual jumping for joy when I saw the boxes containing the PEG. We had run out of PEG during the first week and have been eagerly awaiting this shipment. Needless to say, we immediately resumed the PEG treatment of wood artefacts. It has been a lively, artifact-cleaning packed week. Can’t wait to see what next week brings!


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