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6 July, 2002

Wagaa Greetings in Yupik and Cu'pik

It was hard to work today, it was very wet. But we are here only until the end of the month. In this area of the world, weather has a most important impact, especially in archaeology. There is only so much time during the year to get into a region, do the work, and collect as much data as possible. Before June, there would be too much permafrost to excavate. July is the best month. It is possible in August but the weather does turn a bit. So, we are here and we

have to work in the best of times and in the worst of times.

We are still working in level one, and have a ways to go. We have to watch and feel the soil as we dig. The color changes, it gets loose, then hard again. There are sik sik (Arctic ground squirrel) holes to contend with. There are many variables. We are trying to follow the levels also, according to the contour map.

One very important task to do while excavating is called provenience. When we find an artifact we have to provenience. We basically need to plot it on our paperwork so later when it is put into a database, you can see where it is located (what level it is on, what unit, and what quadrant). The first thing to do is not pick up an artifact, first measure it exactly in the quadrant. The with a line level, measure the elevation of the artifact. Everything in a site is based on a datum point. This is one point to measure from so all samples found are based on the same point of reference. This is VITAL to excavation. Tammie found two more artifacts today. Sometimes when an artifact is put into a bag, you have to put soil in with it. These samples have been buried for a very long time in permafrost. They will start to chip, or split, or decay sometimes. Artifacts in the Arctic region are usually made from walrus ivory. They are worked pieces made for hunting, fishing, whale hunting, sewing etc.

Today's nature sighting was 6 Husky puppies. We were all tempted but we better not decide to take one home.

Tammie and I went for a hike in back of Razorback. We saw some amazing flowers, reindeer, and a great scene on a beautiful day.

This was taken at 2 A.M.at the reindeer roundup. Amy and Tammie are pictured.

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