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SUMMER BAY PROJECT - 1998
Excavation began in June at the Summer Bay Archaeological site and will continue until mid-September. With funding provided by the owners of the Kuroshima which spilled oil on the site in 1997, five staffers and 20 volunteers from Unalaska and colleges around the country are now at work on the site. All artifacts are being processed at the Museum of the Aleutians support center located near the Eagle store, and will be exhibited when the museum opens its doors in 1999.

A variety of artifacts found at Summer Bay give us a glimpse at life in the dunes around 2500 years ago. Obsidian, basalt, and brightly colored cherts were chipped into skin scrapers, stemmed knives, projectile points, and adz blades. Grinding stones were used to reduce a crimson mineral called ocher into a powder that could be mixed with sea mammal oil and applied as paint on hides, artifacts, and as face paint. Elaborately barbed harpoons, fish hooks, wedges, digging tools, artwork, and decorative pendants were carved from sea mammal bone and ivory.

Probably only occupied during the Summer months to take advantage of salmon runs into Summer Bay Lake, the site has yielded only fragmentary remains of houses. Layers of midden and features like hearths and rock alignments go as far as 20 feet into the dune, separated by layers of sterile sands which can accumulate in a matter of hours on a windy day. Archaeologists will determine the date of the occupation by the C-14 method in which a handful of charcoal from a prehistoric fire pit is excavated and sent to a laboratory. Results are usually available in about 30 days. With the rapid dune building process, we expect that the time difference between the occupation at the top of the dune and the base some 20 feet below to be only a matter of a century or two at most.
Principle Investigator is Dr. Rick Knecht, Crew Chief is Charles Bello, Crew is; Dr. Donald W Clark, Dr. Gary Carver, Dr. Rick Davis, Philomena Hausler-Knecht, Shawn Dickson, Marie Lowe, Melia Busch, Rebecca Rowe, Wil Johnson, Claire Panetta, Michael Broderick, Rebecca Liberman, Cynthia Ing. Reema Habib, Benjamin Wieme, Sandy Neidetcher, and Jason Bereskin.
PHOTO CREDIT-- SCOTT FREDRICKS
 PHOTO CREDIT -- DR. DONALD W  CLARK
 PHOTO CREDIT --DR. DONALD W CLARK
 PHOTO CREDIT -- DR. DONALD W CLARK
 PHOTO CREDIT -- JIM DICKSON
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