Here I am preparing for the radio interview on KOTZ 720 a.m. this morning. Right before my interview, the DJ read the Mini Tundra Telegraph which is local news updates for the 11 nearby Inupiat villages.
The radio interview went great! The first DJ I met this morning, Bob, wasn't sure what interview I was there for, but then another DJ came - Johnson - and he was game to do it as planned. We chatted for more than 30 minutes and went through a nice description of the project. Johnson asked a great question. He said, "We've seen a lot of archaeologists come through, but we never see the artifacts they collect. Where do they go?" I told him they probably go to the lab for analysis, but we agreed local people should get the chance to see the artifacts that come from their region. The radio broadcast went out to 11 villages and all the way out to Point Hope so I hope plenty of people heard it. Maybe PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker listened as he went by on his ice breaking ship, the Healy, which is just going up through the Bering Strait. Be sure to follow his adventure into the Arctic for the next 5 weeks.
Check out these attempts at knapping. They are made from the bases of broken bottles (see the whole bottle bases on the top and right). At left is the copper-tipped knapping tool Jeff Rasic gave me.
While I was waiting for the radio interview I spent some time writing in my PolarTREC journal, and also tried knapping some glass blades the way ancient people might have done. It's pretty hard! Dr. Rasic from the university of Alaska Museum of the North had told me you can use the thick base of broken bottles and I found some the other day in that rusty shipwreck south of town. I tried a few different techniques using a hammer and a copper-tipped knapping tool Rasic gave me. What do you think? I need a little work, huh?
Here is a page from my PolarTREC journal. It's a map showing where the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia) might have been back when people and animals were crossing. Note the mammoth making his way across. The area in yellow is now under water. I looked at a picture in an old B. Fagan archaeology text book.
Well, these are my last few hours in Kotzebue before flying toward Denver. John Erlich here in town is going to give me a ride to the airport because my bags are pretty heavy! Then I fly south to Anchorage, north to Fairbanks, and then south (past Anchorage) to Denver. I arrive at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow. My wife is planning to pick me up in the Subaru wagon. I can't wait to see her and baby!