The first week of our Community Archaeology 2011 excavation at the Amak site is complete.
And things have been going well. We have already moved so much dirt that it is clear we will have to open up another excavation block. I already have another area of the site where there is a depression that might represent an old house pit picked out. We also plan on doing some test pitting in the immediate vicinity to find other sites and get a handle on the local geomorphology (where the beaches were and how all the local land forms were created).
It appears that the site was a temporary camp 3 to 4000 years ago, and we found a simple structure associated with this level. In the older levels around 5000 years old we are uncovering a huge pile of rocks whose function has us all a bit miffed at the moment. Next week we hope to get into the really old stuff at the bottom of the site.
Community Archaeology July 28, 2011
Back in 2005 when we first found the Amak site I caught all the student interns giggling.”What’s so funny?,” I asked. More giggling. Then one of our interns informed me that the two mounds on the site looked like Amak. Amak is the Alutiiq word for breasts. And he was right. The shape of the site resembles a woman sleeping on her back amidst the willow and alder. When I mapped the site there was no getting around it. And so the name stuck.