Story last updated at 6/17/2009 - 11:01 am
HOONAH - About 15 Hoonah students are credited with assisting Forest Service archaeologists inventory artifacts excavated almost four decades ago from two ancient archeological sites in Icy Strait.
The artifacts, originally excavated by Dr. Robert Ackerman in 1964-65, were recently returned to Southeast Alaska from Washington State University. Junior high and high school students from Arne Ericksen and Stephanie Harolds' classes catalogued the items the week of April 27.
Archeologists Jay Kinsman and Myra Gilliam, from the Hoonah and Juneau Ranger Districts, introduced the students to the discipline of archaeology, and provided an overview of careers with the federal government in archaeology.
Mary Beth Moss of the Hoonah Indian Association presented an overview of the cultural significance of the sites to the Hoonah Tlingit, particularly the Kaagwaaantaan.
Students worked in groups of three and four to unpack, describe and photograph artifacts, including fire-cracked rock, stone-pecked bowls, iron harpoons and obsidian microblades. They were asked to describe the form, function and material type of each item, and then enter that information into a spreadsheet. They processed ten boxes of artifacts amounting to a total of 1600 artifacts.
This project provided the students with an opportunity to learn about local prehistory, while also experiencing what archaeologists do.
The Hoonah Ranger District extends its thanks to the students, teachers, and to the Hoonah Indian Association for their efforts toward this important project.