Paleo-Eskimo Archaeology — Paleo-Eskimos are the ancient ancestors of modern Natives in 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). Travel with archaeologists into the field as they dig to uncover artifacts from this long-ago tradition.
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.
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