22 July, 2002
Monday begins our last week of excavation. We really want to get down
another level. We worked for six hours on Saturday. It is both
encouraging and discouraging. It feels good to accomplish a lot, but we
wish we could excavate another week. This is archaeology! We do what we
can do! The team at the mound (tel. 079) is Amy, Jim, Danitra, Victoria,
and myself. We are closing in on one area of the grid. We have excavated
down to the third level and working very close to the fourth. A constant
thing to watch out for is our level. It is necessary to revaluate where
we are digging all of the time.
Jim found a very old artifact today made from ivory. Could it be Old
Bering Sea? I also found an ivory handle. It is always exciting to find
artifacts. Archaeology is one big mystery, and each find fits the pieces
of the puzzle together a bit more.
On the walk to the mound in the morning, we had heard there might be
musk oxen. They turned out to be a large herd of reindeer. And on the
way back to the Dome after work, we were greeted by two more gray
The people in the village are still bringing in salmon from their nets.
We have three more in our freezer!
Raymond Seetook was interviewed today. He had some fascinating stories
of his last whale hunts. There are pictures in his house of his teams
and a large piece of baleen across his living room. Raymond was talking
about the laws and restrictions they have hunting. The native people in
Alaska have been hunting for thousands of years. Now, they are told to
get certain permits and can only hunt so many animals, whales, moose,
musk oxen. Ray said the Bering Sea is their garden. They hunt to live. I
think his philosophy has a great deal of merit to it. Sometimes, our
world does not make sense.
It is always an awesome sight to look out into the Bering Strait. Little Diomede was looking very close today (about 30 miles).
We found a polar bear skull. By the size of it, the rest of the bear must have been enormous.
Amy is catching up on her notes. Keeping ahead with the paperwork is very imporatnt. Note, collecteng the data, cataloging and journaling are almost as important as finding all of the samples.
Vicyoria and Danitra helped out with the note taking. I guess it gave us a brief break. Danitra especially liked proveniencing her artifacts.
I interviewed Raymond Seetook. Raymond has caught the last whale in Wales. His interview was fascinating.He is pictured here with his "buddy".
Raymond showed me the gun that helped get the whale. It was very heavy, but a whale bigger tha 30-40 feet is very large, to say the least!
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