Lunch with a conservator

I had lunch today with Monica Shah. She is one of two conservators (people with specialized training in the preservation of delicate and fragile items, like artifacts) in Alaska. She’s also a fellow Bryn Mawr alumna. Monica has been assisting and advising on the conservation of the wooden artifacts from the Ipiutak feature at Nuvuk, including the only two full-sized Ipiutak sled runners ever recovered. When we started, she was a free-lancer. She went to work for the Anchorage Museum, and they’ve been kind enough to let her continue working on the sled runners.

We went to a new restaurant on 4th Ave., called South. It has good sandwiches and generally HUGE portions. I can recommend the salmon salad, and Monica said the egg salad was tasty if rather sloppy. They have outside tables, but are a bit hampered by a tour company which picks up busloads of tourists right in front of them. Most of the tables were taken up by waiting tourists, most of whom weren’t buying anything. I hope they don’t get run out of business.

The Nuvuk artifacts are getting to the point in treatment where they need to come out of the PEG baths they’ve been in and get looked at by a professional. We figured out that Monica should be able to squeeze in a visit to Barrow in February. With any luck, we may be able to get good pictures of the sled runners in a few more months!

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