Great When You Can Find Them, by Jeffrey T. Rasic, National Park Service

Jeffrey T. Rasic, National Park Service, is finding hearths.  Rasic spoke at the Alaska Anthropology Association Conference on March 24, 2018.  Rasic’s talk was titled Great When You Can Find Them: Case Studies in Hearth Detection Using Magnetic Survey Methods. Rasic said, “Prehistoric hearth features can yield troves of information about past human behavior, archaeological […]

Big booms over the northland

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – Near a small village in Russia, Marina Ivanova stepped into cross-country skis and kicked toward a hole in the snow. The meteorite specialist with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Vernadsky Institute in Moscow was hunting for fragments of the great Chelyabinsk Meteorite that exploded three days earlier. This […]

Telaquana Mountains, Alaska

AAA Conference Gives Life to Ancient Stories and New Revelations

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – “Ancient ice is melting and yielding many things we haven’t seen before,” said Jeanne Schaaf, National Park Service archaeologist,  at the Alaska Archaeological Association Conference in Anchorage. Three antler arrow points, rare organic artifacts of a type not seen in the area previously, were found at two remnant ice […]

Aniakchak volcanic caldera from above

Arctic volcanism helps date ancient archaeological sites

“By dating ash,” said Richard Vanderhoek, “An archaeological site in Alaska, can be placed on a chronostratographic timeline.” Or in other words: the chemical makeup of the ash, matched with a volcano eruption, will provide an approximate date of the site. Archaeologists worldwide have dated ancient sites

Bison Bob steppe bison skull

Bison Bob a big discovery on the North Slope

As she scraped cold dirt from the remains of an extinct bison, Pam Groves wrinkled her nose at a rotten-egg smell wafting from gristle that still clung to the animal’s bones. She lifted her head to scan the horizon, wary of bears that might be attracted to the flesh of a creature that gasped its […]

archaeology Alaska North Slope mesa

Climate change and the people of the mesa

Alaska was once the setting for an environmental shift so dramatic it forced people to evacuate the entire North Slope, according to Michael Kunz, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management. About 10,000 years ago, a group of hunting people lived on the North Slope, the swath of mostly treeless tundra that extends north […]

Glaciologists help with recovery of human remains

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – It’s not often that glaciologists help with the recovery of long-lost human remains, but military officials recently enlisted Martin Truffer for that purpose. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute professor and graduate student Dave Podrasky came up with useful information on a Southcentral glacier that held plane wreckage and […]

Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – On a late summer evening a few years ago, a scrap of birch bark caught William Manley’s eye as he walked along the edge of an ice field in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. The geologist yelled to nearby archaeologist Jim Dixon and Ruth Ann Warden of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation. […]

Alaska dune yields oldest human remains of far north

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – Last summer, archaeologist Ben Potter was supervising a group of researchers digging on an ancient sand dune above the Tanana River. Potter, who had a field camp he needed to start at another site, was anxious to get through the last day of work at the dune. Two graduate students, […]

Far-north permafrost cliff is one of a kind

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – In northern Alaska, an amphitheater of frozen ground is thawing where a northern river is cutting it, exposing walls of ice. The feature, known by scientists as “yedoma,” is the largest of its kind yet found in Alaska. Jim Helmericks, who lives with his wife Teena on the mouth of the […]