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Friday, June 14, 2013

One BIG house in the book

Late Prehistoric Alutiiq Multiroom house after excavation

Today we completely finished with the big multiroom house that we have been excavating for the last week.  It was too sunny today for great photos (too many shadows) so I hope to get some better photos later.  But I did create a map of the whole thing.  What a relief – it is done.  It is on paper.  And it was not without some surprises.  It turned out that the west sideroom did have a sod and dirt covered roof.  We had initially thought that the top of the roof was the floor.  This one caused some confusion but we eventually did figure it all out.

Then this afternoon after finishing the multiroom house we started in on another house and got our first big, nasty surprise.  We had already opened the whole thing a couple of weeks ago – so today we just started to dig.  And we found no house floor – no nothing.  It turns out that we do not have a structure of any sort.  Our supposed house depression appears to be sod quarry – a place where the village inhabitants cut sods to build the walls and cover the roofs of other houses.  It does have a small hearth in the center and last year when we tested the depression we hit this hearth perfectly.  But the hearth appears to have been an expedient one.  People were just using the depression as a wind shelter and did not build a formal structure around it.  When removing the grass sod a couple of weeks ago the crew did find 2 perfect ground slate lances.  I now think an Alutiiq man was just up there sitting in the depression and working on his lances and then lost them in the grass.  The depression is a part of the site; it is just not a formal structure.

So now we are going to open up another multiroom house.  The one I have in mind is a lot smaller than the last one we excavated.  We are getting down to the home stretch – not much more archaeology to do here.  Patrick

Another self bladed toggling harpoon from the midden - Prior to this year, I had never found one of these in a late prehistoric Alutiiq site 

Another dawn view from camp - I can't stop taking pictures of the view!

Our big nasty surprise - no house floor in this profile, only sterile weathered ash.

1 comment:

Molly Odell said...

You can never take too many pictures of a view like that.