#Archaeology31–Day 12–Friendship

I’ve been doing archaeology for quite a while, and have made lots of friends. Here are just a few pictures. I notice we seem to be doing a lot of eating…

#Archaeology31–Day 10–It's Ritual?

The term “ritual object” has become an archaeological cliche for items of unknown use. That’s not to say that people in the past did not have rituals, some of which involved objects. In some cases, objects had no clear practical purpose where they were found, yet had deliberately been placed there.

Unworked rocks from Nuvuk burial 07O54

I would say that the rocks we found in burials at Nuvuk fit into this group. They were much larger than the average rock on that gravel spit, so they had to have been gathered deliberately. They were clearly placed in the grave. Why? We can only speculate. They could have been placed by mourners, somewhat like people may drop flowers in a grave today. Or they could have been given in trade for intact items buried with the person.

#Archaeology31–Day 8–Mineral

Clay! The ceramics on the North Slope, especially the more recent ones, are not high quality, but that seems to be because they were not fully fired, perhaps to conserve fuel.

Raw clay eroding in beach near Utqiaġvik
Cord-marked sherd from Walakpa
Close-up portrait of the sherd

#Archaeology31–Day 6–Animal

Polar bears, of course. They hang out around Nuvuk a lot, which is why we always had bear guards. Some days we could see eight at once out on the ice.

Bear sleeping by the trail to the site.

#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.

Climate Change and Cultural Resources seminar (SAA members only)

As usual, things have been busy. One of the things I’ve been busy with was an online seminar for the Society of American Archaeology on “Climate Change and Cultural Resources.” Despite some connectivity issues, it went off well. SAA records these seminars, and you can watch them if you are a current member. You will need to be logged in to the SAA web site member section to access the archive. The climate change one is here.