I don’t usually plug public talks in cities that don’t contain the Shining Tower of Blog HQ, but I’m making an exception for this one. BlogBrother Alexander and BlogSisterInLaw Kjerstin are speaking on Tuesday evening in Portland on the topic of “The Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Project, a Collaborative Study of a Man Frozen in a Glacier and His Belongings.”
I’ve posted about Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį here once before at least, and the nice summary pamphlet made by the Royal BC Museum is still online, in the not-nice ISSUU format. If you’re not familiar, Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį, “Long-Ago Person Found”, refers to the remains of a young man discovered frozen in a glacier in extreme NW British Columbia, in Champaign-Aishihik First Nation territory. Through a remarkable process of collaborative research an extensive scientific and cultural study of these remains and the belongings of the young man were made, before he was subsequently reburied near his place of death. Al was instrumental in overseeing the archaeological work, guiding the research program generally, and negotiating the delicate protocols which enveloped the whole project. Kjerstin was closely involved in the conservation and analysis of key elements of the man’s personal gear, especially his elaborate robe made of many ground squirrel skins. Beyond this, everything from hair isotopes to community DNA to pollen and glacial mineralogy to radiocarbon dating were used to provide a remarkably complete picture of the life and death of a young man and his relationship to communities and environments of the north coast and interior. It’s an incredible and moving story of discovery and the return to a community, welcoming with open arms the remains of one of their own from the distant past.
If you’re in the general area, you might well want to check out this talk, which is free and open to the public. It’s on Tuesday October 6th, with the general AGM of the Oregon Archaeological Society at 7.00 and the talk itself scheduled to begin about 7.45, at OMSI, 1945 SE Water Street, Portland.