6 July, 1998
07/06/98 Arriving in Alaska
*** At the Binghamton airport by 5:30 A.M. - Philadelphia -Seattle - and on to Fairbanks - bad food but great views of the U.S. especially the Cascades and the glaciers of southern Alaska - A warm welcome from Renee Crain of ARCUS ***
On the plane I reread the 3/12/98 "Report of the 1997 Field Discoveries City of Deering Village Safe Water Cultural Resources Project", (Reanier, Richard E., Glenn W. Sheehan and Anne M. Jenson) about the serendipitous discovery of the rich Ipiutak (Eskimo) burial site during the construction of a sewer line. I also read portions of Glenn Sheehans 1992 "In the Belly of the Whale, Trade and Warfare in Eskimo Society" The excitement I feel is really starting to mount. I can hardly believe that I will be an active member at the onset of what has been characterized as "the most significant archeological discovery in NW Alaska since the 1940's. This project is loaded with everything from Geology and archeology to the history and culture of the present and original people of this remote region. Just a note about Deering and it's community. I'm very impressed by what I've read of this small community which is taking a large measure of control over the excavation of this site. The people of Deering are training themselves as archeological technicians and are helping excavate, preserve and curate the remains and artifacts from this site.
Now a little about Fairbanks. Renee Crain from ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States) has shown me some of the high spots around Fairbanks. The first thing that we did was load up her rented Kia 4x4, and toured the University of Fairbanks, before checking out Aaron's and my very nice room at the "Inupiat" house on campus. We walked some of downtown and saw musk ox and reindeer at the University. We had a very nice diner at the "historic" pumphouse restaurant. At 12:30 A.M. Aaron Stupple arrived (the recent high school graduate from Stamford N.Y. who is going with me). We talked some, but now after a 24-hour day it is time for bed.
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