Read, Watch and Listen

A Race Against The Rising Tides

The remains of the Nunalleq archaeological site (AD 1350-1700) cling precariously on the eroding edge of the Bering Sea. Archaeological teams from University of Aberdeen were first invited to investigate the site in 2009, after locals found artefacts eroding onto the beach. Since excavations first began, the coastline here has retreated more than 10 meters. 

© This image is credited to Rick Knecht, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Digging through Time

Work at Nunalleq is the first large scale excavation in an area nearly the size of the UK. More than 35,000 artefacts have been recovered from the Nunalleq site so far by archaeologists, and community volunteers. Permafrost and waterlogged soils at the site have preserved an extensive assemblage of organic remains, including wooden artefacts like these bentwood bowls being excavated by Dr. Sven Haakanson.

© This image is credited to Rick Knecht, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Spirit Worlds at Nunalleq

Excavations at Nunalleq have also found a number of different masks, some complete like this example, and others fragmented. This mask, found in the summer of 2015, is particularly striking. With ivory insets, a beard and whiskers, it is a transformation piece, transcending animal and human worlds.

© This image is credited to Sven Haakanson, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Amazing organics!

Permafrost and waterlogged soils at the site have preserved an extensive assemblage of organic remains, like the basketry shown in this picture. These kinds of materials are rarely found at archaeological sites, as they would normally decay, but Nunalleq has yielded many preserved wooden artefacts, seeds, plants, animal fur, and even cut strands of human hair (the waste from prehistoric haircuts). Laid on the woven grass are a pair of carved ivory earrings found at the site.

© This image is credited to Sven Haakanson, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Archaeological Survey

An important part of the Nunalleq project is identifying new sites that could be under threat. This involves co-learning and knowledge exchange with community partners. Archaeologists are advising local people on how to recognise and record new sites when they are encountered, and local volunteers bring valuable knowledge of the region and the Alaskan wilderness to the research team.

© This image is credited to Rick Knecht, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Community Workshops

Community workshops are an important part of the field season in Quinhagak. This gives local residents an opportunity to see and experience archaeological finds close-up, and also to discuss them, with archaeologists, and one another. At community workshops, the material culture of Nunalleq is truly integrated into the present. For researchers, community memories of object types and the traditional skill bases of local craftspeople provide valuable new perspectives on the interpretation of the archaeological record at Nunalleq.

© This image is credited to Rick Knecht, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

Sherlock Holmes Postcards

These postcards were produced in October 1903 by The Strand Magazine as part of the release of The Return of Sherlock Holmes. They feature Sidney Paget illustrations for the Sherlock Holmes stories ‘The Final Problem’, The Hound of the Baskervilles, ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’ and ‘The Adventure of the Norwood Builder’.

Baker Street Post-box Insert

This insert from Baker Street's postbox gives the time of the postal collections. Souvenirs like this one are popular amongst fans and collectors for their link to Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes lived.

Sherlock Holmes Statue Book

The Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station in London was erected thanks to the efforts of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. They set up an independent project to fund and build the statue in 1999. The statue was designed and made by John Doubleday, a leading British sculptor.

Baker Street Studies

This first edition of Baker Street Studies was published in 1934. It contains essays written by members of the early Sherlock Holmes Society and edited by H W Bell. This copy is inscribed to the president of the society, Dick Sheppard, and signed by the secretary A G Macdonnel.