Friday, August 5, 2011

Artifacts Galore

My ground slate bayonet
Alana with a ground slate point and a ground slate flensing knife (Patrick's photo)
Jill and a complete bayonet (Patrick's photo)
Christy drawing a map of the rock pile
Patrick on top of our maintain of a back dirt pile
Today was an epic day at the Amak Site, in terms of artifacts. Christy's mom, Alana, came out to dig for the first time. Almost as soon as she started digging she found a beautiful ground slate flensing knife (second photo, artifact on the right). A knife like this would have been used to butcher sea mammals, fitting with Patrick's hypothesis that the Amak Site was a seal hunting camp. An artifact like this is fairly rare (I've never found one before) and this knife is particularly beautiful. When something this cool is found, all works stops while we crowd around looking at the artifact and taking photos. Almost as soon as well all got back to work, Alana found a small ground slate point as well. She was on a roll! Shortly thereafter Jill found a complete ground slate bayonet. It's also very rare to find a bayonet that isn't broken. And just a little while later I found a broken bayonet. I think a couple more bayonet fragments were found, but honestly there were so many today that I lost track! The funny thing was we found basically nothing but beautiful ground slate artifacts this morning which is highly unusual.

Bayonets were used as spear tips to hunt sea mammals. We are getting a clearer and clearer picture now from the artifacts that people used this site for hunting. The structures and deposits are still confusing us, but at least some parts of the puzzle are coming together.

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