09 May 2011


Welcome to Gitxaala

Welcome to the Northwest, where eagles sing and scream, where sea planes soar over harbors and the greenest greens you've ever seen tower over towns. 

I've arrived here for fieldwork. To head out into remoteness, to dig, to talk and to think. This thing we do, anthropologists, this thing called research is an interesting place to visit. Apart and strange, outside the university the researcher is a baffling presence; hailing from far away places, transient, lonely, with vague purposes even remoter.

Arrival is process, one of making place, making a place. All beginnings are arrivals.Arrival is the beginning of the creation of memories. Memories that come to construct the familiar.

Arrival is experience. Touch and feel and sense; new smells of ocean and the sounds of eagles flapping. Seeing, becoming part of landscape by contributing to it, by taking it in, literally embodying. Arrival is moving and pausing. 

I've arrived here, in the Northwest, ready again to set out anew. To the ocean, to floating scapes of sea and land and group. I'm here to see how archaeology arrives, by boat and plane and skiff. By tool and question and boot. By poetic narrative, perhaps. Tonight archaeology arrives and tomorrow it stays and the day after it leaves again. My job is to see and experience and write it.