July 15, 2012 Discoveries!
I was so thrilled to be given a quad in my own unit today, Unit 29 with the lovely Ines from Germany. It was really something to wake up at 2am because my tent was too hot! I don't think that has ever happened before-- normally when I camp it's quite the opposite-- I wake up a bit chilly in the middle of the night. The sun was out in full force at 2am, and I'm slowly getting used to it. If you're someone like me who enjoys being outdoors, the endless summer days are fantastic up here in the Arctic because it's more time that you get to be outside!
I absolutely love the math involved in archaeology-- Ian described archaeology as being an amalgamation of all the disciplines, and that's why I think it's such a great fit for the classroom. The site is divided into a bunch of units, and all of the archaeologists are perched in various ways to access their unit-- on their tummies, like Steve, standing, like Ines, or curled up into a ball like Angelique! I tried a few different ways as I used all of my excavation tools-- a trowel, a scoop, a brush, sticks to mark where artifacts are, baggies to put them in, and a pen to document them! Stay tuned for a cool video on how YOU can do this too!
The day follows a very fun routine-- excavate, use the Total Machine to mark where it is on the land, screen your dirt, finish a level, repeat! At first it seems like not much progress is made, but then you find some cool things! For instance, I found my first bi-face today, and it was the size of my palm. A bi-face is just what it sounds like-- a piece of rock that's been worked on both sides! It's special because the person making it on top of Raven Bluff 10,000 years ago was working pretty hard on it! I also found tons of flakes, pieces that come off of a tool as they're making it, and-- my favorite!-- bones! We are not sure what they are from yet, but that's what the analysis is for afterwards. During snack break, I looked out over the bluff and imagined what these folks were doing back then, making their tools while watching terns dive for fish in the Kivalina River.
More soon on all of these processes in detail, but for now, our camp chef for the night, Ayla, has created us some yummy burgers.