Community Archaelogy 2015 Approaching

picture_by_alutiiq_museum_of_community_arch.jpgVolunteers from Community Archaelogy 2014. Via the Alutiiq Museum

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The opportunity to take a day-trip to dig for artifacts is a rare treat, but it’s one that Kodiak residents get the chance to experience every year.

The Alutiiq Museum’s annual Community Archaeology dig is approaching and will give community members a chance to discover Alaska Native history first-hand. In order to participate, volunteers should attend the orientation Thursday night.

Curator of Archaeology, Patrick Saltonstall, will conduct that evening’s lecture and says the orientation is a chance to see what the program is.

“Some people might be like, what do they do, what’s going on, or what are they studying?” says Saltonstall. “And it’s sort of people’s chance to see slides of what we do, what it entails to be part of Community Archaeology. I mean, see people digging in the rain, in the mud – do I want to do that? And then to see the people finding artifacts and looking at cool houses.”

Saltonstall describes the orientation as an information session instead of training. You don’t need experience to take part.

“Basically, people don’t need to know anything because we teach everyone everything they need to know,” says Saltonstall. “But we do tell them what they need to bring. Like water, rain gear, boots. We show them what’s entailed and where they need to be.”

Saltonstall says the dig will be at the Kashevaroff site near the Salonie Creek.

“Our whole overarching purpose is to look at how the Alutiiq people used Chiniak bay through time and to look at the different parts of the bay, people’s seasonal round. This site we’re digging up, we’ve dug the last two years and we’ve found stuff as recent as 1912 and then all the way back to 7000, so it’s a site that has every Alutiiq period represented pretty much,” says Saltonstall.

He says the orientation will be about an hour and begin at 7 p.m. at the museum. The dig itself will happen between July 13 and 31 and Saltonstall adds that high school and college students have the opportunity to earn credit.

For more information, call Brian Fraley at 486 – 7004 extension 25 or email him at You can also read more about the dig here.

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