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4 July, 2002

The 4th of July was celebrated in Wales with a large group of people shooting their rifles into the Bering Sea. There was another celebration with a BBQ, but since it was raining they had it in the Dome. Our little apartment/lab now smells like a hamburger (we are upstairs).

We have been working on level one of tel. 079, Kurigitavak Mound. In archaeology, you have to make contour maps as you excavate. This excavation is now in its sixth field season, so there is documentation to study. It is still not easy to determine when we hit

new levels, but we do go by the maps. I started on a unit (a square meter area); it is then made into quadrants (northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest). This enables us to be more exact when an

object is found. The more data collected the more interpretation will result. I worked on S3W1 northwest quadrant and then the southeast quadrant. I did not find much, I think because it is still on the top layer. We have only begun to excavate. I am pretty sure we will find a great deal more as we go to lower levels. I did find small pieces of ceramic and a few pieces on bone (faunal). I also found small lithics (points). It is very important to be aware of the different soils (hard sod, clay, sandy etc.) and colors. These a! re all indications of new areas we may be looking for. Once again we are expanding on the house that was excavated last field season. Another vital aspect of archaeology is journal writing. It is necessary to keep a day by day journal. We must include all aspects of what we are discovering. We have to describe the soil, and the texture and color. We have to discuss what we find and where. For example: in S3W1 if we found a great deal of ceramic (pottery), it may mean this is where the cooking and eating was taking place. If we found more artifacts in an area, it may mean this is where they made their hunting tools. Artifacts are worked substances that are used for hunting, cooking, sewing etc. In the Arctic region, great deals of the artifacts are made from walrus ivory. Ornaments and jewelry are also mad from ivory. We sometimes find baleen, but this is difficult to keep because of the texture. Baleen is from the Bowhead Whale. When the whale eats it collects a great deal in ! its mouth and then lets the water sift out through the substance known as baleen (it is almost very fine strands of hair compacted together in a very hard substance. Back to journal writing, it is the writing that is the documentation of what we are doing in the field. Roger Harritt will be studying our journals as a very important aspect of the excavation. He will refer to various dates and descriptions when we find certain items.

Well, on to Friday, hopefully the weather will cooperate; but then again we are in Bering Sea area. The weather takes over.

Amy is working in the Dome sorting and writing her paperwork.

Jim and Teresa worked together in the trench on the other side of the mound. Margie would work there later and Jim joined us on the mound. They were going way down in the trench because of many good sample finds.

These two guys came down from the mountain to feed and see what we were doing one fine afternoon.

Pictured here is a whale scapula or shoulderblade. It was amazing how many we found, as well as the different sizes.

At night when we sorted, it was important to clean the samples. This prevented decay as well as help preserve them better. Teresa is pictured here taking her turn.

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