Sunday, June 7, 2009

Experiential Archaeology

As a living historian I'm not able to access very many true historical reenactments, so I focus on an aspect of the living history activities known as experiential archaeology, in which I venture into the field to experience the day to day lifestyles of historical people, using the same technology that was available to them. I suspect it is as close to time travel as our current understanding of physics will allow.

An AP article in today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner describes an adventure in experiential archaeology undertaken by Lydia Apatiki, a Yup'ik Eskimo living in Anchorage. Ms. Apatiki constructed a parka from the skins of 100 crested auklets, small seabirds common in her community. Once exceedingly common on Apatiki's home on St. Lawrence Island, such parkas have not been worn since the mid-19th century (that would be American Civil War times).

The article describes the project is some detail and I think anyone with an interest in historical technology will find it interesting reading.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Swanny, Have you visited Mammoth Cave in KY? The 2 hour Historical Cave Tour visits the mining operation back in the 1700's for Potasium Nitrate to help make gunpowder for the American Revolution. I took the tour this last April while I was driving thru KY. Dave Lukosik