Archaeologists Uncover a Paleo-Eskimo Camp





Paleo-Eskimos are the ancient ancestors of modern northern Natives, as recognized by archaeological studies throughout Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. In Alaska, the earliest members of this group are known by a distinctive stone tool technology called the Denbigh Flint Complex (say DEN-bee). Denbigh people were the first humans to colonize most of Arctic North America 5000 years ago.

Frontier Scientists takes you into the far north, to the site of an ancient Paleo-Eskimo camp. Follow intrepid archaeologists as they dig to uncover history.

Although 75-100 Denbigh sites are known in Alaska, only a handful (literally) of bone fragments are known from all of these sites. The condition of shallow permafrost and the ongoing formation of peat at Matcharak Lake were just right to preserve the animal remains of many Denbigh meals. The discovery of this frozen bone midden (prehistoric trash dump) will allow the archaeologists to reconstruct the behavior of these Native Alaskans.

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People: Andrew Tremayne, Natalia S. Slobodina, and Victoria Florey

Browse a photo album of the Lake Matcharak excavations in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

✧ Explore all articles related to the Paleo-Eskimo Dig

History in ice, a view of the Paleo-Eskimo excavation (Laura Nielsen) Arctic Archaeology
Reflections on the Lake Matcharak Paleo-Eskimo dig (Victoria Florey) Arctic Archaeology
Notes after our summer field work: Lake Matcharak (Natalia S. Slobodina) Arctic Archaeology
Uncovering the frozen remains of a Paleo-Eskimo culture (Andrew Tremayne) Arctic Archaeology
The preservation of archaeological bone (Andrew Tremayne) Arctic Archaeology
Matcharak Lake: A seasonal mountain camp (Andrew Tremayne) Arctic Archaeology
Future Directions: Beyond Marcharak Lake (Andrew Tremayne) Arctic Archaeology

Paleo-Eskimo project

Related: Arctic Archaeology, Petroglyphs, Alutiiq Weavers

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2 Responses to “Paleo-Eskimo”

Bob Sutherland on April 6th, 2012 9:52 am:

Dogs? Are you seeing any remains of dogs (dog bones) in your diggings. if so what are they dogs which followed the camps? wolf?

Thank you.

douglas brown on September 12th, 2012 4:09 pm:

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