I’m working on a paper about the ‘art’ from Aniakchak (which is my poor excuse for not blogging). One of the surprises of our lab work was when we found several incised pebbles from the Koniag house feature. These pebbles are really hard to spot – which partly explains why we did not see them during the excavations. Incised pebbles are abundant along the northern rim of the Kodiak Archipelago at sites dated between AD 1300 and 1500. Most of the Koniag incised pebbles have anthropomorphic designs including examples found in the Brooks River area of the upper Alaska Peninsula.
The Aniakchak incised pebbles have what could be best called a geometric design. Here’s a quick photo I took of one of the pebbles. It’s not a very good shot. I’m just using it to help me draw the design. I’ll post a better picture and illustration as soon as I get them done.
What’s particularly interesting is that we also have incised stones from the main occupation at Aniakchak – an occupation contemporary with the Kachemak tradition on Kodiak. Incised stone is rarely found in sites from this period, but both Aniakchak and Kachemak examples also are best described as having geometric designs. It’s intriguing to speculate as to what these stones might be telling us about the relationships between the Aniakchak villagers and their neighbors of the Koniag and Kachemak traditions.