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August 17 - 2 of 2

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Description: On the left: The abandoned Russian Border Patrol barrack where we made our home while we worked in the field on Paramushir Island. This building was just a part of an entire complex of buildings that encircled Lake Pernatoye.

On the right: Pavel “Pasha” Minyuk and Jody Bourgeois admire the framed picture of Vladimir Putin that we hung on a shelf above the “dining room” table of the house that we lived in for 7 days while working in the field on Paramushir Island.

August 17 - 1 of 2

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Description: On the left: James Taylor, Katya Kravchunovskaya, Mike Etnier, Matt Walsh, Jesse Einhorn, Pavel “Pasha” Minyuk and Alexander “Sasha” Pakhamov greet Dr. Shubin and Vladimir “Volodya” Golobtsov on the final zodiac run to the beach at Vasil’ev Bay on Paramushir Island. Also aboard the zodiac, but not visible in the picture are Pat Anderson and Tanya Pinegina.

On the right: Me working to carry gear up the beach from Vasil’ev Bay to our field site near Pernatoye Lake on Paramushir Island.

Volcanoes

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Description: Some of the more dramatic volcanoes of the Kuril Islands rising above the water. Clockwise from upper left - Atsonupuri on Itrurup Island, L'Vinaya Past Caldera on Iturup Island, Chirip on Iturup, and Nemo on Onekotan.

August 12-15

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Description: On the left: Jesse Einhorn (standing in black), Jody Bourgeois (kneeling in yellow) and Colby Phillips (kneeling with blue coat and red hat), along with Malish (orange coat, back to camera), work on exposing the tephra sequence high above a wave-cut platform beach. Behind and far below them (about 90 meters) you can see the black, rocks that have been eroded into a flat platform surface by the wave action.

In the center: Me holding the white biface projectile point that was found in the test pit that Mike Etnier, Bre MacInnes and I dug at Drobnyye Beach on Shiashkotan Island. Biface points are made by taking the large initial flakes from knapping and then chipping off smaller bits along the edges to refine the shape and sharpness. A biface point has been retouched from both sides and looks like what most people would generally think of as an “arrowhead.” (Image courtesy Mike Etnier)

On the right: A close up photo of the two biface points that were found at Drobnyye Beach after they were cleaned. They are sitting on the screen with a pencil for scale.

Boat and Malish

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Description: On the left: The boat loaded with palynology gear and people heads for shore at Kharimkotan. Dr. Valery Shubin is operating the engine, Dr. Pat Anderson, from the University of Washington (and my roommate) is to the right of him and Dr. Anatoly Lozhkin, from the Magadan Institute, is in the front of the boat, facing forward. Also in the boat is Valery Golobtsov, an archaeologist, who is going along to assist with unloading the boat.

On the right: Malish, the volcanology dog, relaxes in the warm grasses after following us across the top of Shiashkotan for the day.

Ryponkicha

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Description: On the left: I am laying down into the test pit that we dug on top of the terrace at the northern end of Ryponkicha. We dug about 45 cm into the NE quadrant of the pit and found a midden at the base. This picture was taken as I was trying to do a hurried geological description of the stratigraphy. (Image courtesy of Ben Fitzhugh)

In the center: Ben, Tezuka and I get ready to descend the cliff through this wash out. Ben had just finished taking pictures of an Arctic fox that had a den about 1/3 of the way down. The terrace that we were on was about 80 meters high.

On the right: An immature, male fur seal that we woke up and is telling us in no uncertain terms not to come any closer (we didn’t). There were at least 100 fur seals – most likely all immature males, according to Mike Etnier (our resident zooarchaeologist and fur seal expert) – taking naps all along the beach at Ryponkicha while we were doing archaeology above their heads. (Image courtesy of Ben Fitzhugh)

Screening Deck

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Description: On the left: Matt Walsh works on spraying salt water on the midden sample from the Vodopadnaya midden test pit. The small mud balls that were left from the initial screening are being broken up and rinsed so that we can collect all of the smallest bone pieces.

On the right: A close up of the wet screening. Matt Walsh and Mike Etnier are working to break up the mud balls so that the dirt can be washed off of the small bones.

Snail Midden

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Description: Caption – On the left: Dr. Mike Etnier identifies a large bone found in the midden at Ainu Bay as from an extinct sea lion species.

Center: A close up of the bone, showing the distinctive “hook” that helps with its identification.

On the right: A photo taken of our excavated snail midden at Ainu Bay on Matua. Through the center of the photo runs the snail midden layer. Above the snail shells is the sandy soil and turf. Below the snail shells layer are two large layers that contain volcanic cinders. Some of the cinders were quite large – 5-7 cm in diameter.

Misty Working

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Description: I am working in the room where all of the archaeological artifacts are being stored. Each item’s complete provenance has to be recorded on the sample bag, in the artifact book and on an aluminum tag or piece of orange tape that goes into the bag with the item. I never saw Indiana Jones doing this sort of thing!

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