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9/8/14 KNBA News - Archeologists confirm Yup'ik lore about a massacre

Sep 8, 2014

In 2009, Quinahagak villagers noticed an eroding shoreline was uncovering arrowheads, and contacted the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Now, an archeological dig is revealing bows and arrowheads, armor made of antlers, ash, and skeletal remains -- evidence of the "bow and arrows" wars of Yup'ik folklore. Roofs were "riddled" with arrowpoints, evidence of a battle. Elders call the site Arilik, which means "lots of ash" in Yup'ik. 

In addition to evidence of a massacre, the archeologists are finding daily household items, such as jewelry, and tools - many of them similar to the ones being used today. One of the ulus, or womens' cutting knife, found in the dig has an ivory handle, beautifully carved with the image of a mythological sea monster. Artifacts will go to the University of Aberdeen for study, then will be returned for display in Bethel or Quinhagak.