Much to the dismay of the ’09 field crew, the final day of excavations had at last arrived. Relentless winds harassed the group from departure to arrival and attendance was carefully monitored in between should anyone have decided to have themselves blown into the bog. Our proficiency over the course of the final week would be rewarded with a much more relaxed pace today. Only a couple of tasks remained; the completion of soil sampling at the Thing, and surface exposure at the 2nd upper dwelling depression at Hiidenkangas.
Sam’s timely arrival with cookie supplies put an end to Colin’s tyranny at Hiidenkangas. In the absence of Colin’s cookie embargo and despite high winds and the repeated pummel of airborne buckets, the surface exposure of the second upper dwelling depression was completed by lunch and the finds, quartz debitage, mapped by Colin and Sam. After a lunch blasted by wind, Sarah, Elizabeth, Hunter, Lisa and Brendan returned the cleared soil to the exposed site and unrolled the sod mats in an almost natural fashion.
With yesterday’s trench backfilling, work at the Thing was almost exclusively soil sampling. In the morning, soil cores were extracted from along the platform by Loretta, Mike, Katie and Eva and mapped by Dustin and Greg. After lunch, Greg and Dustin ventured off to map out a row-house discovered in the first week of fieldwork.
By the time either site’s crew called it quits, it was just past lunch and the teams bid an early farewell to the Finnish bush and the prehistoric sites they’d come to call home. Although laboratory work will continue on into Friday, archaeological fieldwork for the 2009 season has ended.
Our 3 weeks of survey, testing, and excavation along the prehistoric coastlines of 4500-5500 years BP have no doubt provided a substantial contribution to the ongoing research exploring long-term human adaptive responses to change in boreal environments. In collaboration with further research in northern Canada and proposed expeditions in Kamchatka, the 2009 research results from Finland will expand the scope of an emerging model examining human responses to climate change from prehistory to the present day. From the diminutive fragments of quartz debitage to the intricacies of the dwelling depressions serenely fixed upon the ancient landscape, our findings comprise a growing repository of knowledge fostering the development of new perspectives on a people and a land extending far into prehistory.