Friday, July 30, 2010
Artifacts from Penguq
Digging on this part of the Alaska Peninsula was very different from digging on Kodiak. Many of the artifacts we found were not things you would normally find on Kodiak, so it was very exciting for us. The part of the site we excavated belongs to what archaeologists call the Norton Tradition which lasted from about 3000-1000 years ago along the Bering Sea Coast of Alaska, including Bristol Bay. The tiny netsinkers (photo of Ryan top right), pottery (bottom left photo), and tiny arrow points (bottom right photo) are all typical of Norton sites. Ground stone lamps like the one Jill found (top left) are found across Kodiak, the Aleutians, and the Bering Strait region throughout prehistory. This one is the only one we found in our excavations at Penguq. In the middle left photo I am holding a chipped stone point and on the right Ann Marie is holding a chipped stone lance. It is interesting for us to see the difference between artifacts on Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula at sites of the same age. For instance, while there was pottery at Penguq 1500 years ago, pottery was not used on Kodiak until 1000 years ago even though there is plenty of evidence of interaction between the two areas. Netsinkers on Kodiak are also much larger. People from Kodiak speak the same language as people from the Alaska Peninsula though, which means they were probably in close contact in the past.