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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Some More Artifacts

Alexandria's chipped point preform

Here are some more pretty artifact photos from the end of last week.  They pretty much all represent hunting and butchering gear - lances for killing sea mammals and knives for cutting them up.  However, in block B, where it seems there was some intense smoke processing going on, they have also been finding a number of notched cobbles.

Unlike the notched shingles typically used to weight the bottom of nets these cobbles are notched on the short rather than long axis.  They are also coming from 4000 year-old deposits that should pre date the development of Alutiiq net fishing.  We've all been wondering if perhaps they were used to weight sea mammal nets.  Later in time such side-notched cobbles were typically used to sink fish hooks to the bottom.

So perhaps the site inhabitants were fishing in the shallow lake that was once in front of the site?  In support of this idea, a few years ago when we excavated a site up at the outlet to Buskin Lake we did find a number of line weights and calcined fish hooks.  So maybe Alutiiq people did use hook and line gear to catch fish in fresh water lakes.  We know they used such technology in the ocean, but it never crossed my mind that they might also be doing it on inland lakes.  Patrick

An end-scraper for processing hides

Flake knife for cutting up meat

Natalie's weird barbed bayonet

Alexandria's ground point with wild geranium for scale

A pair of notched cobbles from block B

Line drawing of some line and hook fishing gear found at the outlet to Buskin Lake (drawing by April Counceller)

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