Post by Courtney Eastmen, PSU undergraduate and Lab Tech for the Climate Change and Archaeology Project
This quarter working with the material in the lab has been a long and tedious process but also extremely rewarding. We started out with such a mass accumulation of material and now we are very close to completing the initial sort. It’s been difficult to learn how to identify the variety of material types that we have found this quarter. Some of the materials include; antler, clay, bone, burned bone, marine animal teeth, terrestrial animal teeth, clunker, charcoal, ivory and pieces of pottery.
Some of my favorite finds from this quarter are a large caribou tooth, some pieces of animal cartilage, and a piece of modified ivory. The caribou tooth is important because it has the possibility of being radiocarbon dated. The majority of datable organic remains in the material have come from marine origins. Radiocarbon dating marine remains is difficult because of differential accumulations of C14. The picture shows the caribou tooth next to some smaller seal teeth.
The animal cartilage was interesting because I had never seen anything like it before!
The modified ivory was also really interesting. It was mostly square shaped with a small round hole through the center of it. It appears as though the end of the item was broken off. I am not sure what it was used for, but finding any modified items is always exciting!