6000 Year old Settlement

Our first day in Vuollerim we walked to a stone-age settlement site on the outskirts of town.  We learned about it from a local woman who knew an experimental archaeologist named Ulf Westfal (now passed) who founded the site and an interpretive center.  The settlement was at least 6,000 years old, and they found the remains of a wooden house structure, quartz blades, obisidian blades (traded from elsewhere), a ton of moose bones, and various bone tools.

We had to follow snowmobile paths in dry, dusty snow, that the feet can't find traction on, down over a river, and back into the hills.  The last part of the trek was on an ungroomed trail, with snow knee deep most of the way.  Slow going.

Crossing the river with arctic graffitti!


To find a home in thigh deep snow, sleeping underneath it all.  The snow was dusting down, gently whispering old songs and stories, lullabies to the modern cries of where we forgot whatever it was was we forgot.  Do you remember?  The snowflakes asked spinning down tree trunks.  Do you Remember?  When fire kept you alive, but the cold was not your enemy, when you slept side by side on pine needle floors on beds of skin, bellies full of fat and meat with your kin?  When stones were friends who helped your work, cutting and slicing and pounding and cooking.  Do you remember?  What it was like to eat together from flame and leaf and root and soil?