Monday, September 22, 2014

A busy week for the NLAS

Dorset Palaeoeskimo Endblades from
The Anstey Site, Twillingate
I've been home for a little over a week now and already the summer feels like a lifetime ago.  I'm taking babysteps back towards getting back into the workshop and the production side of Elfshot up and running again, but last week was all about the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (I'm the current NLAS President).  Last week we had a Board meeting, an Executive meeting, a Planning Committee meeting, and a meet-and-greet at the MUNArch mixer.  Already this week we've issued a Press Release and done one quick VOCM radio interview about our big summer Community Collections Archaeological Research Project.

Photo Credit: Robert Anstey, courtesy of the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sheshatshiu Archaeology Now On Display

"Archeological exhibit opens in North West River" is an article by Derek Montague published today in The Labradorian about a new display of artifacts from Sheshatshiu in the Labrador Interpretation Centre. The article explains the background of the exhibit based on the archaeological work carried out by Scott Neilsen and his crew ahead of housing construction in the community.  I was asked to make a few reproductions for the exhibit based on the artifacts recovered and this article was my first chance to see the reproductions in use and on display.

From the article:
The highlight of the exhibit is a display of artifact recreations. These replica tools are all based off of artifacts found at the site. They were built using only the materials that would have been available to the Innu 3,000 years ago. 
People visiting the exhibits can pick up the replica tools and imagine how they were utilized.

Scott Neilsen holding a reconstruction of a quartzite biface as an adze or gouge, with other reproductions in their cases behind him.
Photo Credits: Derek Montague, Screen Captures from The Labradorian  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Adjusting to home life

I don't often get a chance to knap during the summer, but
 towards the end of the season this year, a geologist friend
brought me some Missouri chert that I couldn't resist trying.
The transition between the summer field season and the rest of the year can be challenging.  I don't know whether its more jarring to step out of my regular life in the spring or to be thrown back into it in the fall.  I'm not exactly sure how to explain what it feels like to be gone into the field for three or four months.  Its like taking all of your working hours in a year and lining them up end-to-end and then living them all in a row from June to September.  For those months, the only people you see are colleagues, the only places you go are to your workplace, and all conversations are work related.  The rest of the year is your home-life.  Fortunately, I like my summer work, so I look forward to it and miss it when its gone, but I also like my routines.  It takes time to settle back into my fall/winter patterns and judging by the backlog of e-mails and phone messages it should be a busy winter in the workshop.

Photo Credit: Tim Rast

Monday, September 15, 2014


Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, September 12, 2014


Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


The sun is setting and it's getting dark at night, so things like day and night and dusk and dawn are starting to mean something.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorted Polygonal Soil

The land on north Baffin Island is shaped by permafrost and there is very little soil and vegetation cover to hide the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle in the ground above the permanently frozen earth.  The landscape has been shaped by glaciers and meltwater run-off and then by several thousand years of annual freezing and melting cycles.  Patterned ground is common and can happen on a lot of different scales.  Some of the polygons are so large that they are only noticeable from the air, while others are more obvious on the ground.  This patch of sorted polygonal soil measures a couple of metres across. The sandy soil and naturally fractured plates of dolomite exaggerate the effect here.

 Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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