General Information


Expedition 2008

The 2008 KBP summer field expedition will be conducted in July and August under the scientific directorship of Dr. Ben Fitzhugh and in partnership between the University of Washingtion, the Russian Academy of Sciences Far Eastern Branch, the Sakhalin Regional Museum of Local Lore, and Hokkaido University. The ship "Iskatel-IV," based in Korsakov, Sakhalin Island, has been contracted again this year to transport the expedition to and from the islands.

The 2008 expedition will be the final season of fieldwork for the KBP. The expedition will start in the north-central part of the Kuril Island chain, with teams conducting archaeological and geological research on the islands of Chirinkotan, Onekotan, and Shiashkotan. The expedition will then move to the central part of the island chain to work on Rasshua Island and the Ushishir group of islands, and then finally to Chirpoi and northern Urup islands in the southern Kurils.

Archaeological work in 2008 will focus on excavating several sites that were identified in 2006 and 2007 field surveys. This work will be oriented towards recovering larger samples of faunal materials, lithic and ceramic artifacts, and radiocarbon samples in order to provide a better understanding of the subsistences practices, technology, social organization, and timing of migration and occupation of the north-central and central Kuril Islands. Archaeological surveys and mapping of areas that have not yet been visited by the KBP will also be conducted during the 2008 field season.

Geological work in 2008 will build on research that began in 2006 to document the history of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions in the Kurils during the past several thousand years, and to better understand how these events might have affected people and the ecosystems upon which they relied.