Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 13 --600 test pits later

We've fisished about 600 shovel tests pits so far and hit 2 possibly 3 burials, one excavated but is probably exploded and partially in a midden so left for later, and today's, was very neat but little in the way of burial material. The outline was very concise, outlined by 4 driftwood logs and in a 4' X 5' configuration supplemented by a partial mandible (lower jaw) of a bowhead whale, but there was really very little in the way of bone left, best surmise is it was probably hit by carnivores, shortly after burial, because there was only part of the skull, no verts at all, 2 ribs, one partial humerous, no pelvis or lower limbs. It took most of the day to uncover and record, and got "busy" towards the end of the day trying to finish up and get out of there. It got pretty foggy in the afternoon, just enough that it was percipaiting like a light mist, rather pleasent really until we rode back on the ATV's and the dust kicked up blended withe the mist and turned all of us a nice even light brown color.

Lois asked about seals, we know they are out there because that is what the bears hunt but they usually don't come close in to shore, today one of the bear guards shot one ( a seal, not a bear) but lost him when he got to his breathing hole and disappeared.

Edward--there are no glaciers where we are, you need mountains to have glaciers, and Barrow doesn't have mountains. This is a level tundra plain.

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments, this site does note seem to be able to let me just reply to the individual comments and create a conversation stream, so I'll try to answer or respond in my posts.

The weekend was pretty calm, went to another bonfire on Friday night and talked with someone who works for the DMV here in Alaska who was explaining that part of her job is flying to some of the more remote villages and certifying individuals for drivers licenses. That ONLY allows them to drive in the villages, not on state roads, its called a class 6 license. and they have to go through another exam if they want a "regular" license.
Will post more later--Internet is shutting down and want to get this up


summer widow said...

More Pictures please. If they are allowed to shoot seals do they get to keep the meat? Have you tasted it?

M said...

How was that whale party - I'm sure you had a whale of a time ;) Its great to read about all your adventures - sounds like you're discovering new stuff every day.


erik said...

What a wonderful job to be an archaeologist and be assigned to Nuvuk Alaska! While concentrating on your job, keep a keen eye out for the polar bears. They may smell the bones you have unearthed and come looking for lunch. Don`t you be their desert! e.