First Day in the Field!

As usual, things were a bit disorganized getting ready to go to Nuvuk this morning.   However, after rounding up a non-leaking pump, gassing up 5 of the ATVs, buying bungee cords (the many folks who had gotten all the field gear from last year out had somehow not noticed the bungee cords had gone missing), airing up a couple of tires, etc., we set off.

After getting to the site and orienting the newbies, we put all the gear into the proper tents, gave the lesson on how to make up a honey bucket that is unlikely to fail in transit (they have to be backhauled to a proper disposal site), and set off in a line, pin flags in hand, to survey the site.  We located one burial during the survey (exposed by recent vehicular traffic, alas) and spent some time getting driftwood to block off and reroute the trail until we can excavate the person.  We also located a number of features, and a few loose teeth.

Then it was time for lunch.  We have a relatively small crew this year, so the tent felt quite roomy.

Laura, Flora and Trina get their lunches ready.
Trina, Nora & Victoria have lunch in our spacious Weatherport.

We took the usual hour for lunch (Rochelle actually caught a nap), and then we went back at it.  It started raining, and kept it up until just before clean-up time.  Everyone was well dressed, and since the wind was WSW, it wasn’t too cold.  The NWS had called for rain or snow, and we’d all be hoping for snow if anything, since it is less wet AND makes for better pictures.

Flora and I set up the transit to shoot in the locations of the burial and some artifacts near it.  We are moving from the primary datum we have used for many years, because erosion is approaching and we will lose it in the near future.  Fortunately, the work we had done last summer setting up paid off and everything went smoothly.  We need to mark a couple of the additional datum points tomorrow so they are easier to find.

View from transit station over the area we will be working in this season.

The rest of the crew laid out lines of shovel test pits, and soon Nuvuk was festooned with lines of bright pin flags.  We had to dig some of the STPs (shovel test pits) quickly, as they fell on the trail, and we needed to clear that area so people don’t start diverting into untested areas.

Part of crew hard at work among the pin flags.

Flora shot in the STPs, and Brody backfilled about 20 by himself.  Then we packed up, rather quickly for the first day, and headed back in.  We didn’t see any bears all day.  A couple of hours later, all data is downloaded and backed up, everything is on a charger that needs to be, my houseguest and husband have been fed dinner, and I’m going to bed.

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