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4 July, 2001

Aang Greetings (Aleut)

There was a 4th of July celebration last night at midnight. Many people were lined up on the beach shooting their rifles into the Bering Sea. They also sent off fireworks, but with it being light at midnight they were hard to see. Later in the day there were races and other games with a BBQ to celebrate the day. We celebrated by working the day away.

In the morning I worked with Amy on TEL 026 Beach Ridge, clearing the layers away to reach the tarp. We have been here for over a week and the permafrost still prevents us from reaching last years levels. I was told that last year they did not reach the levels until there was a week left in the dig. We scraped quite a bit away today. I also learned how to use a plumb bob (an instrument for measuring). We are measuring off this area now for excavations.

In the afternoon, I worked on my quadrant at TEL 079 North Trench. It was hard to scrap with the trowel (T3) because of the changes in the ground. It went from grassy to sandy to sod. There were three holes made by sik sik's (pronounced like schick schick). They are rodent like animal (like a cross between a squirrel and a ground hog. I then went to the quadrant I was working on the previous day, this time on level 2. I found three artifacts in one quadrant. It was a very exciting day for me. One was wooden, a peg or similar to an awl. The next was slate with carving in it. This, I was told had been part of a tool, it had been worked on. A GREAT DAY. I was also exhausted at the end of the day. Who ever said archaeology was an easy day of digging?

Weather for today: Cold and cloudy in the morning, very rainy if the afternoon, and sunny just as our workday ended (oh well), another typical day in the Bering Strait.

Here are some of our samples, John is checking on things

Maria is checking out the stratigraphy

The tools at the mound a bucket, dust pan, trowel (T3), and of course whale scapulas.

This is a square unit, with a whale rib and vertebrae. They have to be recorded and drwn in before they are removed.

We are ready to go to work no matter waht the weather and it will probably be wet and windy!

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