Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wrapping up the summer

Drilled slate point 
It was a brief field season this year in Nunavut and it's all over now but the packing.  The weather is a big factor in the successes and set-backs of fieldwork and this year the rain and snow clouds cooperated with us.  We lost an hour here and there, but we didn't lose a single day to inclement weather.  The interior travel and caribou hunting sites that we worked at are notoriously shy of artifacts because they were very briefly occupied and people traveled lightly.  Still, we found a sampling of stone, bone, wood, antler, and metal artifacts to give us a glimpse of Inuit life in the area over the past few hundred years.

Taking Notes
The relentlessly pleasant weather and long field days meant there was little quiet time around camp or in the lab to reflect on the weeks as they flew by.  I haven't sorted through the photos I took and this is my first blog post since the first day in the field a month ago.  Here are a few of my favourite photos of sites and artifacts from this season.

Excavating tent rings

A small piece of worked wood, about the diameter of a pencil, resting on sphagnum moss

There were at least four tent rings at this site.

A longer piece of wood on sphagnum moss.  This site has lots of wood fragments about the right size to be arrowshafts, but nothing terribly diagnostic, so it's possible that they had other functions.

A small antler artifact with a scarfed end.

Recording a tent ring in front of a blind. 

This slate point was found at a location that would have been good for caribou hunting.  It's probably an arrowhead or small lance tip.

 Photo Credits: 
1, 3-9: Tim Rast
2: Lori White

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