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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Over on the Far Side

I spent last week with Jill L and Mark R mapping and testing an archaeological site on the far side of the Alaska Peninsula. It's a totally different place than Kodiak over there. We left Kodiak in a float plane, flew across Shelikof Strait, and went through a low pass to the other side of the Alaska Peninsula at the head of Puale Bay. Suddenly we'd left the cozy Gulf of Alaska and had entered a totally different world. Huge lakes that look like the ocean, moose, caribou, big volcanos, and a flat, flat plain with Bristol Bay in the far distance. Hello Bristol Bay and the Far side of the Alaska Peninsula.

And it really is a totally different place. We noticed that on the flat plain there are very few places high and dry enough to build villages. Every high spot seemed to have had an old village on it. At our camp we immediately noticed the HUGE single room housepits. Totally different from prehistoric Alutiiq houses. No salmonberries or devil's club either. Even the birds were different. It took a while to get used to the prhistoric sounds of the sandhill cranes croaking away and walking about like turkeys on the flats. No more golden crowned sparrows singing 'oh dear me' - we had definetly left Kodiak!

Photos: Mark and Jill at sunset with Mount Chiginagak in the distance. Our camp. Mark standing in the middle of a really big housepit. Jill checking out the flats from the float plane - looking for old village sites and caribou! Patrick

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