Monday, July 8, 2013

Tiny Bird Carving

We found this little bird carving today in a cache associated with a Palaeoeskimo house feature.  We see lots of loons on the river below the site,so we've been calling it a loon, but it could be a goose as well. What do you think?

There's a trowel blade in this in situ shot for scale.  The floating bird is carved on a peg-like tooth, most likely from a walrus.  The interior cross-section of the tooth is visible when viewed from the underside.  Sets of birds like these were tossed like dice by Inuit people for gaming or guidance.  Perhaps the Palaeoeskimos used them in a similar fashion or made them for a different purpose.
Photo Credit: Tim Rast

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