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Thursday, August 13, 2009

180 Year-Old House Uncovered

Yesterday at Miktsqaaq Angayuk we finished uncovering the 180 year-old house. It appears to have had two siderooms - one attached to the main room and the other with an outside entrance. Both had been used for banya and had had sod roofs. The unattached sideroom also had had a bench along the wall it shared with the main room. The main room of the house had had a roof of thatch and a wooden door to the outside. We found a large posthole in each corner and 3 (of what I suspect were 4) additional postholes forming a square in the middle of the room. The outside posts would have supported a square outer ring from which beams would have sloped up to the inner square. In the photos we marked the old post holes with alder logs for clarity sake.

Mark and I are wondering if the house was a specialized hunting camp used mostly by men. We have found a great deal of hunting related artifacts but very little of what we would associate with women. Yesterday we even found a metal crucible that would have melted the lead poured into molds or water to create bullets and bird shot.

Out in the midden Leslie continues to bottom out in the midden. Yesterday she found the pictured netsinker and ulu right above the sterile beach gravels at the bottom of the midden. The ulu has a well-drilled hole that would have been used to help haft on a wooden handle. This style of ulu is not typically found in older Kachemak (3-4000 years old) deposits and I am beginning to suspect that our midden represents the remains of a later Kachemak occupation (circa 2000 years ago). We will eventually know what the date of the prehistoric component at the site when we radiocarbon date charcoal samples we found in the midden. We'll know the exact age of Leslie's ulu. Patrick

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