Monday, April 25, 2011
Lately while at work I have been helping write up the report of our excavation last summer at the Penguq site over on the other side of the Alaska Peninsula. One of my tasks has been to take photographs of all the artifacts. They will later appear as plates in the report. What you see here are all the knives (Bottom) and points (Top).
What's striking is how different they are from similar aged and analogous artifacts from Kodiak (AD 200 to 800). The pictured tools are classic Norton Tradition types while artifacts from this time period on Kodiak are typical of the Late Kachemak Tradition. Partially this is because most of the Kachemak tools you find on Kodiak are ground from slate while on the far side of the Alaska Peninsula where there is no slate all of the tools were chipped from stone. Chipped stone looks nothing like ground stone.
But the differences also reflect culture. The people on the other side of the Peninsula did things differently than the people on Kodiak. They built their houses and tools differently, and probably dressed differently too. But just how different from each other were they? Did they speak a similar language? Was their an ethnic difference between them? They did not live all that far apart and they certainly interacted with each other. But what was the nature of their interaction and how did they influence each other? These are the questions I'll be thinking about as I help write up our report. And to answer these types of questions you have to look at more than just the tools. Patrick