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5 July, 2002

Camai Welcome in Alutiig

The excavation continues! It is our first full week and Roger said he was pleased with the work. We cleaned up all of the backfill from last year. Teresa made a contour map of the area we will be working on. We then set up the grids in all three sites, and finally we started on level one. We need to finish all of level one before we continue. We are starting to find some very nice items. Jim found a handle to he thinks a knife. He was saying "Think back to their times, who was the person who held the knife? what was he doing? What was his life like? This is where archaeology is fascinating. We are searching into the past trying to learn about the Eskimo culture. There are many questions to ask. How did they live? What and how did they hunt? What did the children do? What games did they play? We know some or part of the answers, but there is a great deal more to uncover and learn about. Back to our finds on Friday: at level one. I was fortunate to find two artifacts, a blade po! int made of stone and another stone point. Danitra found a fishing tool made from ivory. Tammie found a worked antler made from ivory and later in the afternoon, she found a harpoon head!

It was very warm today; in fact the infamous Alaskan mosquitoes started to come out. After work, we were treated to two more gray whales passing through the Bering Strait.

On Saturday we went for a hike out to the reindeer corral. We had heard that they were bringing them in at 1:00 A.M. on Thursday. We missed that but hope to see them out in the fields. We were told there is a herd of approximately 350 reindeer. They had not been able to bring them in because of two high rivers inland. But there was a break and they brought them in. We went out Saturday to try and see them, and whoa! A large herd was grazing in the fields close to the water. It is really an awesome sight. It was too foggy to take their pictures, hopefully another day.

So far we have seen: a single reindeer in the back of a pickup truck in Nome, in Wales: gray whales, lots of seagulls, the reindeer herd, snow buntings (which are awesome birds! I feel very fortunate to see them), a tundra swan, a jaegger (we thought it was a hawk at first because of the large wing span), and of course the famous sik-sik (the Arctic ground squirrel). The sik-siks are everywhere on the mound. They have formed a very elaborate tunnel system. In Seward, before we left for Wales, we went on a boat excursion and saw many bald eagles, oyster catchers, puffins, and sea lions. I hope to add more to this list before the end of the month. I have heard there are beluga whales and Orca whales going through the Bering Strait. Unfortunately the Bowhead goes through earlier and need to be the ice. We see snow but no ice. And I really want to see the muskox again.

Well, this is all of the rambling for now.

Victoria and I worked at the Beach Ridge site for a few days. Roger then took over the site. Victoria is seen here in the ridge.

Amy and Margie are cleaning fauna.

Amy and Victoria are now cleaning their samples.

Jim's hands are taking a turn.

And last, but not least, Tmmie is cleaning off her bones. We all had our own style. The end result was clean samples.

When it rained REAL HARD, we worked in the Dome cleaning and cataloging. Roger and Danitra are seen having a conversation. The next digitals are most of the gang cleaning off fauna (bones).

Jim is taking his turn.

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