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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Off to Dig Afognak

This afternoon I'm off to Dig Afognak up on Afognak Island. Zoya and the kiddos are off to visit the grandparents in Homer. The doggies and a house sitter will defend the homeland in our absence.

Dig Afognak is always sort of a homecoming for me. I ran my first archaeological project there as part of the program between 1994 and 1997. I spent my first summer there 15 years ago! I always take the time to visit the site while I am there. It's been so long since we finished the excavation that it now looks exactly like we found it prior to excavation.

This is what it looked like in 1996. The grey area in the middle is the main room of a 700 year-old multiroom house - basically the common room. The two excavators are in one of the house's siderooms which was attached to the main room by semi-subterranean tunnel. Multiple related families would have shared this house, and each nuclear family would have had its own sideroom for sleeping. The big pits and slate boxes in the main room are for cooking and food storage. During excavation some of them were still full of salmon bones - the remains of stored fish. The wood posts mark where we found old posts holes where the wood had rotted away and left a hole. I marked them with modern posts to show where the prehistoric posts that held up the roof had been. Patrick

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