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Monday, August 08, 2016

Week Three Discoveries

Whimsical chipped stone object - inukshuk?

Last week we excavated down into the oldest layers at the site where we found numerous red ochre stained living surfaces.  Each surface probably represents the floor of a tent or some sort of temporary shelter. The surfaces were littered with red chert flakes.  It seems people did spend more time at the site during the earliest occupation than they did later in time.

Our biggest discoveries came near the end of the week when we recognized 2 larger features.  A possible house near the very bottom of the site, and another large smoke processing pit like the one we excavated last year.

The 'house' has a thin ochre stained gravel floor and appears to have had stacked sod walls.  It looks very much like the feature we excavated over in the main block in 2014. We will be excavating a small portion of this feature later this week, and we will be able to examine it in profile.

The large smoke processing pit is full of large rocks, charcoal and flecks of burned sea mammal bone.  It is basically underneath the one we excavated last year, and in places they intersected - or rather the younger one was dug into the older one.  But at the edges it is clear that the older one was filled with our 'L2A' that represents the circa 4500 year old occupation at the site. It was then re-used and massively reworked around 4200 years ago.

The find of the week was a large notched cobble associated with the older smoke pit.  The notched cobbles we found last year are also associated with the older pit.  It also looks like the large notched cobble might have been a net anchor.  It is too big for anything else.  This may well be the earliest evidence for the use of nets ever found in the Kodiak Archipelago.

Today marks the beginning of the final week of the dig - here's to reaching the bottom of the site!


Another toy bayonet?

Block B near the beginning of the week

Calcined sea mammal bone associated with the older smoke pit

A 'battered' bayonet - for fish! (we still have only found a handful of these)

5000 year old net anchor?

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