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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
During the short Arctic field season, one rests when one can.
Place is hard, since there are several sites, so I’m going with North Slope of Alaska.
Well, I’m catching up, so this should have been posted Thursday…
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.
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.