This will probably be pretty short today, three days in the field of doing shovel test pits takes adapting to--I expected it to be difficult for the first two weeks, and I'm pretty much on pace, I can keep up with most of the Barrow kids, but just barely, and a couple are built like cage fighters so they just tear into it, so no one tries to compete with them. We are expected to do a miminum of 10 a day working up to 30 a day. unless pulled off for other stuff or we hit a burial.
Actually today, me and two of the Barrow kids, pulled and or shot in all of the pin flags we set up the first day. The idea is to discriminate all of the junk from either historical artifacts, post 1880 that are of some value, Inuit artifacts and human bones from the modern trash and faunal bone that litters the landscape. They let me use my judgement, go figure, actually the younger of the two that was with me has a really good eye, and between her and I we found an additional 40 or so pieces of worked bone, a beautiful chert end scraper with great flake scars, some historical bottles that are identifable and 4 solid brass shelf supports with copper pins that must have come off a ship that were about 8" to 10" long and weighted about 3 pounds each. We also have two pieces of human, a lone tooth and the left half of a mandible with one milar remaining.
We did hit what probably is a real burial today. Andrew found it and so far we only have two pieces of worked whalebone and an ulna(forearm), but we really haven't started to excavate yet, just cleared off and set the outline. Since this whole area is loose gravel, ANY vegetation, especially a low mound with lichens, mosses is an indicator of organic remains of some sort. It could be just a historic or prehistoric midden (Domestic garbage) or it could be a burial. there is no soil as such here, so plants grab onto anything organic as a source of nutrients, even bleached and decaying walrus and whale bone.
That's it for today, the internet gods have been kind and let it function for 2 whole hours now!!