#Archaeology31–Day 2–Throwback Thursday

Well, I’m catching up, so this should have been posted Thursday…

Tour of Piŋusugruk 1994. L to R, Anne Jensen, Jana Pausauraq Harcharek, and Panikpak Doe-Doe Edwardsen (both from NSB IHLC at the time).

#Archaeology31–Day 1–Who Am I?

I am an Arctic archaeologist/anthropologist. I have lived in Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska since 1996. I mostly work on Arctic Alaskan coastal sites and sustainability, and spend a lot of time dealing with erosion, although I am a zooarchaeologist at heart. I chair the SAA Committee on Climate Change Strategies and Archaeological Resources.

ICASS X abstract deadline JANUARY 20, 2020 (EXTENDED)

Do you work with some aspect of people and permafrost?  There is a session on that topic at ICASS X (Arkhangelsk, June 15-20, 2020).  The deadline for abstracts is extended to January 20, 2020!

The session is called “People and Permafrost in a Changing Arctic.”  The session abstract shown on the website is a placeholder that hasn’t been updated yet.  The up-to-date version is below.

Apply here (under the Abstract Submission link) : https://icass.uni.edu

People and Permafrost in a Changing Arctic

For thousands of years, permafrost has been a constant in most of the Arctic.  Communities and lifeways have literally been built on the assumption that it would endure in perpetuity.  Now, in response to recent warming trends, permafrost degradation and its numerous societal and environmental impacts are becoming widespread.  Coastal bluffs eroding into the sea, roads like washboards or washed away, fill collapsing around pilings supporting public infrastructure, archaeological sites and cultural heritage thawing and rotting, and ice cellars thawing and flooding, are only some of the effects becoming commonplace across the Circumpolar North. 

This session will bring together interdisciplinary research focused on changing permafrost and its impacts on people and landscapes as well as human resilience and adaptation in Arctic coastal permafrost areas. We seek to develop synergy between researchers  interested in these topics and expand PerCS-Net (Permafrost Coastal Systems Network), an international network of researchers dealing with permafrost systems in transition. We welcome papers covering various aspects of these issues, from identifying new types of social and environmental disruption to  monitoring to attempts at adaption.  Contributions from community members and holders of Indigenous knowledge and local knowledge and researchers successfully engaging directly with Indigenous communities are particularly welcomed.

Deadline is January 20, 2020.

Apply here (under the Abstract Submission link) : https://icass.uni.edu

Input needed–Microbial Threats in the Arctic

Area near Utqiaġvik with measles graves from early 1900’s epidemic

I’m taking part in a workshop on Health Security Risks from Microbial Threats in the Arctic.  I’m looking for any experiences with such, particularly connected to archaeology.  Also interested in any published references.  Have some, trying to make a better list.  Please DM or email me if you can help.  I’ll be traveling Sunday & Monday.

RIP Dennis Stanford

Six days ago I opened my computer to be greeted by news of Dennis Stanford’s passing. Dennis was a giant in North American archaeology. Before he went to the Smithsonian and became famous, he was a graduate student. His dissertation was based on his excavations at none other than Walakpa, covered in one of his books.

I can’t remember when I first met Dennis, but it was in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I remember hearing about the elephant butchery experiment from folks who had been lucky enough to play a small part. As someone who was involved in Arctic archaeology, I was aware of his work at Walakpa, but never really thought about working there. When I first started working in North Alaska, I bought a copy of the Walakpa monograph, which turned out have once belonged to Chief Justice Warren Burger, of all people. It was for reference when I was writing about other sites.

Then in 2013 the Walakpa site started eroding. We started salvage work there. Based on the Walakpa volume, I was able to tie our site grid into the grid Dennis had established in the 1960s. I contacted Dennis, and he was kind enough to share copies of the field notes (still sorted by which chapter of his dissertation they related to), and was always willing to answer any questions I had that weren’t covered in the notes. We planned on getting him to come to Walakpa when we had an excavation open, but we didn’t manage that before his health problems started. We talked about it the last time I saw him in person. I’m sorry that will never happen now. I think he would have enjoyed it.


Time for Recent Research Notes for AJA

It’s time to send in submissions for the Alaska Journal of Anthropology Recent Research Notes sections. It needs to go to the editors by early March at the latest, so get them in now! If you want to include any images, we need publication quality versions at the same time. We welcome notes about all fields of anthropology as well as related studies. More info here.

NB. There is a new style guide for AJA here. Please use it. I’m super busy this winter, so I can’t spend time fixing formatting, but I do want to be able to include your submission.