Last year, I met Patrick Saltonstall at the Alaskan Anthropology Association meetings, where he promptly invited me to Kodiak. Every summer, the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak hosts five weeks of community archaeology fieldwork, where locals can get college credit for volunteering their time at a dig. I obviously had to take Patrick up on this offer.
I made good on Patrick's invitation this summer where I participated in three weeks of excavation at the Kashevaroff Site in Womens Bay, Kodiak. We found everything from slate lances to cold trap entrance tunnels complete with wooden posts still in their holes, one of the most fun features I've ever had the pleasure of excavating. The experience was even more exceptional due to Patrick's outstanding attitude and commitment to unraveling the sites complex stratigraphy and function through the millennia.
As a central Alaskan, excavating on the coast introduced me to a whole new world of material culture and fishing culture. I explored many of the bays and coves around Kodiak, gilnetted silvers, unsuccessfully baited halibut, oggled Sitka blacktail deer, and chased wild island cows.
Bree is an Alaskan Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming