Tag Archives: caribou

New Finds from NWT Ice Patches

340 year old bow made from willow wood - bow was found in multiple fragments. Photo: Tom Andrews via livescience.com.

In many parts of Northwest North America glaciers and ice patches are melting at unprecedented rates.  In some cases, these are revealing extraordinary archaeological remains, as I have noted before for Alaska.  There’s recently been some short news reports about new finds in the Northwest Territories, to add to the substantial work already done there.  Most of these reports rehash the same news release from the Arctic Institute of the Americas, which sponsored the research through International Polar Year funding (now ended).  Only a few sites have photos, though.

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Caribou Metatarsal Hide Scraper

John Shea stripping ligaments from a caribou metatarsal in preparation for making a hide scraper. Source: SFU.ca

I haven’t really mined the SFU Archaeology museum website yet – they seem to have had a bit of a makeover recently, though many of their online resources are achieving “vintage” status.  One such is the photo-essay on making a hide scraper from a caribou metatarsal, or the long, straight bone between the caribou ankle and its hoof – the long bone of the foot (ungulates walk on their tip toes).

The essay is a series of over 20 pictures showing step-by-step the process of making the scraper:

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