Sixty Years after Giddings

In 2012, PhD candidate Andy Tremayne, Sara Tremayne, and Kaare Erickson completed a feasibility study at Iyatayet (NOB-002) on Cape Denbigh in the Norton Sound.  This summer, Andy led a small group of volunteers (myself and John Darwent) and interns (Chantelle Nakarak, Elaine Rock, Desiree Rock) in excavating the site.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Iyatayet, it’s best known as the type site of the Denbigh Flint Complex. In 1948, J. Louis Giddings was led to the multicomponent site at Iyatayet by two men from the nearby village of Shaktoolik – Lewis Nakarak and Saul Sokpilak. Beneath the Thule and Norton levels, Giddings found a ‘new’ Paleoeskimo culture: the Denbigh Flint Complex. Giddings and his crew worked at Iyatayet until 1952. Sixty years later, the excavation continued. It was a wonderful project to be a part of, and we found a lot of fantastic things (including archaeofauna!). The Shaktoolik Native Corporation (land owner) was very helpful, and everyone in Shaktoolik (especially our main contact, Palmer Sagoonick) were incredibly welcoming. I definitely hope to continue working in the area next summer! 

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If you want to know more about the exciting data recovered from Iyatayet this summer, keep an eye out for Andy’s forthcoming report and dissertation.

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