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21 July, 2001

Wind!!! Iíll tell you what wind is!!! John and I went up the

hill to fetch a pail of water. We could hardly stand. We looked around and realized we were also the only ones outside in the whole village. They know something we didnít know. As we walked we saw the dark sinister clouds approaching from the Southwest. If I was home and saw dark clouds like that I would go home immediately. It is now 3 hours later and still blowing I am guessing gale force winds. I cannot imagine what it is like to have these winds and -80F. Wesley told me it gets like that sometimes in the winter. We were actually leaning over and not falling, I have never felt this sensation before.

We are finally down to level four. There were seven people excavating at 079N today (Julie, Amy, Wesley, Victoria, Marie, Maria, and myself. The mound outside the pit is getting larger each day. Next Friday is the day we start to put it all back (oy). We did not find a great deal today. We are working our way through the different soils (sandy, peaty, wet sand, very hard dry dirt, very hard sod, and loose dirt). This is called stratigraphy. Stratigraphy shows the layers of soil over time. In other words, the layer on top is more recent than the one below it. This helps us understand the order in which soils were laid down. Sometimes excavating is very difficult because we have to stay in a level and not go below it until all of a level is excavated. This is vital in an archaeological dig. It is very helpful if we can read the layers (see digital below).

We may not have found much today, but we can really see what is going on, how the house may have looked. The sod being the side of the house also occurs naturally. They used the sod to put it on the side of their houses. I tell myself each day we are digging up a house that was built hundreds of years ago. We can see many posts coming out of the ground diagonally. There is a very large whalebone at the base. We have removed many walrus skulls at every level. This all tells us something. They are all clues to putting the pieces of the puzzle back together. We can only speculate when we find things. But there has been a walrus skull at every level and it seems to be in a pattern. There is also a very large one that also seems a bit deformed, on top of a post. Could this be a sign? Was the hunter a great hunter? Is it in his doorway to show he was a great hunter? All of these signs seem intentional and significant, but we can only hypothesize as to their intention. It makes all of this so much more intriguing and fascinating. I have mentioned this before, but every day we discuss as we excavate how there were people living where we are digging. There is a mystery from the past. What were their lives like?


One of the things to watch for is the stratigraphy reading in the wall. Notice the wavy line and the different colors of the layers. This is just one way to help us determine a level.


Marie is busy tagging for the screened specimens.


The mist over the Bering Sea at midnight!


We climbed razorback, only to hear Raven warning us to stay away. We then saw the baby ravens.


The table with the whale vertebrae keeps growing with walrus skulls and antlers.


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