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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Digging in the rain

No digging today - we're working in the lab

It's raining hard today on Kodiak.  Way too hard to even attempt digging, but yesterday we did manage to dig for the entire day despite intermittent rain and a persistent mist.  By the end of the day the steps up our backdirt pile had gotten very slippery, and it was getting difficult to see the artifacts and features as the soil turned into muck.  So today we stayed in the lab and washed and catalogued what we have found so far on the dig.

Out at the excavation we are getting down to the lowest layers at the site.  The red ochre floors in this layer do have some ground slate on them.  The earliest sites on Kodiak do not have any ground slate.  But the style of some of these bayonets is similar to those we found on a 6300 year old housefloor out at Zaimka Mound (KOD 013).  So it is still pretty darn old. Also we have found what appears to be an intact white ash with cultural material underneath it.  At other sites this white ash has dated to about 7100 years ago - so I am hopeful we might have some even older material at the very base of the site.

We have also been excavating a smoke processing feature from the late 'Ocean Bay II' era.  It appears to have lacked a sod roof and does not appear to have been associated with many posts.  Also the hearth is fairly expedient.  We found burned bone and fired sods in the hearth area, and it looks like they put sods on the fire to slow it down and keep it burning longer.  This would have conserved fuel.  The feature is no where near as elaborate at the one we excavated last year at the Amak Site (click here).  Patrick

Lab work - cataloguing the artifacts

Leslie with a huge bayonet base found on a red ochre surface

Red ochre surface from the lower levels of the site

Excavating another smokehouse feature - we've been excavating a lot of these lately

Digging in the rain - we made it through the whole day

Andrea and the smokehouse hearth feature

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