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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dig All Done

Getting close to the bottom on the second-to-last day

Yesterday was the last day of Community Archaeology at the Kashevaroff Site.  The site turned out to be very deep and far more complex than expected.  It's ironic that I lost sleep the night before the dig began worrying that we would not find anything. Alutiiq people used the site from about 7000 years ago right up to the end of the prehistoric record.  There are very few sites on Kodiak where you can find the entire prehistoric record represented.

However, it was a short 3 week excavation and the weather was pretty bad for the last week - so we did not get to finish our excavation.  We did manage to dig a trench down to the bottom of the site along one wall and next year we hope to return to excavate the rest of the lowest layers of the site, as well as, explore other areas of the huge site.  It is clearly a very significant site and warrants a lot more investigation.  So yesterday we covered the site with tarps and backfilled the excavation to protect it until we can get back to it next summer.

The site is significant because it is so different from the normal village sites that us archaeologists usually excavate.  Instead of manufacturing, household and cooking tools - we only found tools related to hunting, maintaining gear and processing food.  And clearly the location was an important part of the Alutiiq seasonal round - they kept returning to the same spot for almost 7000 years.  Hopefully in the next few years we will learn why it was such an important place and better understand what exactly they were doing there.  This year's excavation has just whetted my appetite to learn more.  Patrick

Jesse's family visited right at the finish

Our backdirt pile got pretty tall

All done but the backfilling
Final Profile - 7000 years old at the bottom and 300 year-old housepit at the top

Profiling before we backfill - we will finish next year

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