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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week Three

Bree and the tunnel to a sideroom in the undisturbed, top level of the site

It's week three of Community Archaeology at the Kashevaroff Site, and we are getting deep into the site.  While we have been finding very cool artifacts I am a little disappointed by how disturbed we are finding the lower levels of the site.

It appears that the early inhabitants at the site did a lot of digging and sod tossing. In the main block I had hoped to find an intact early house or structure of some sort, and while we have found post holes and parts of some living surfaces we have not found any substantial, well-built features.  Worst of all, we have already found the glacial till that marks the bottom of the site, and everything appears mixed up right to the bottom.  We found this same situation last year in the block further down the slope but I had hoped it would be less disturbed further up slope where we are digging now.  It appears that there are actually more intact old deposits down slope where we were rather than upslope where we are now.

In many regards what was going on 5500 years ago during the Ocean Bay II component at the site closely resembles what was going on across the valley at the Amak Site.  Sod quarrying, smoke processing, and sea mammal hunting on a massive scale.  I do know that if we can figure out why the inhabitants at both sites were quarrying sods and moving dirt on such a massive scale that we will have learned something significant.

We did find one intact feature at the site.  It was the bottom of the cold trap entrance tunnel that we excavated last year.  We discovered that the sideroom and tunnel had been renovated and filled with grass sods.  Last year we excavated the top renovation.  This year we got to check out what the tunnel and sideroom looked like before it was renovated.

The cold trap tunnel had gravel on the bottom and was lined with planks and sods.  We think that it intruded too far into the sideroom and that the inhabitants filled it in to make the room larger.  They turned the tunnel into a step.

Over at Block B Catherine and her crew have been uncovering evidence of massive smoke processing, and many more of the notched cobble 'line sinkers'.  We have never found such notched cobbles with smoke-processsing features before.  So it is a new type of feature.  It is also interesting how differently that part of the site was utilized than where we are digging at the main block.  Different activities were clearly taking place at different parts of the site.  More on the smoke processing features in a later post.  Patrick

Cold trap entrance tunnel to side room of the 400 year old house associated with the top layer of the site 

Molly and a 'boot-creaser' or toy Bayonet

Ariel and a microblade - the microblades hint at an early occupation of the site

Leslie's Toy Bayonet

Soloman's ground slate sea mammal lance

Close-up of Soloman's somewhat unique lance

2 bayonet preform set together on a living surface from deep in the site

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