Archeology

Four Fairbanks-area high-schoolers got a chance to get down and dirty last month as part of a class that helps them learn how archeologists uncover the past. The students spent a week excavating artifacts at a dig near Quartz Lake as part of a University of Alaska Fairbanks program that gives young people hands-on experience with  science-,  technology-, engineering- and math-related activities.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Quartz Lake is shrinking -- the water level of the popular lake just north of Delta Junction is dropping. And while researchers try to find out why, archeologists are studying how humans have adapted to the lake’s periodic cycles of rising and falling water levels since they moved into the area 14,000 years ago.


Eric Carlson/Ben Potter

UAF archeology professor Ben Potter and an international team of scientists he worked with has discovered evidence of a previously unknown, ancient people who were among the first to cross over from Asia to Alaska more than 15,000 years ago. The scientists based their findings on analysis of DNA from two infants buried more than 11,000 years ago at a site south of Fairbanks. The research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, sheds new light on when and how the ancestors of today’s indigenous peoples first settled the New World.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Anthropologists with the University of Alaska Fairbanks say a site they’re excavating near the Delta River west of Fort Greely was first inhabited by people some 13,000 years ago – not long after humanity crossed over a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia and North America. The anthropologists say that’s just one of the many discoveries they’ve made at the Delta River Overlook. And they say they’re just beginning to uncover its secrets.


Climate change and the settlement of the New World …


An Arctic pathway for indigenous peoples ancestors …


Climate change is destroying the historical record of Arctic peoples.


University of Alaska Fairbanks and National Science Foundation

An archeological site southeast of Fairbanks continues to yield information about the Native people who lived along the Tanana River thousands of years ago. The site, first identified in 2005 during reconnaissance for a railroad extension project, has been the subject of major archeological excavation, and Monday researchers announced the discovery of skeletal remains and other materials dating back to the end of the last Ice Age. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports the finds are helping to broaden understanding of Alaska’s early residents.

Fairbanks, AK - A construction project in McGrath last year uncovered three skeletons.  Authorities opened a missing persons case, but it turns out these remains have been “missing” for much longer than anyone expected.  Radiocarbon dating shows the bones could be a thousand years old.  Scientists have spent the last year analyzing DNA and isotopes to find out more about who the individuals were, what they ate and  whether they are related to people living in the McGrath area today.

TCC, MTNT, McGrath Village Council

Fairbanks, AK - Construction workers uncovered human remains near McGrath last month during work on an erosion control project along the Kuskokwim River.  An investigation revealed their Athabascan origins.  Results from scientific analysis are still very preliminary, but the findings could shed new light on the origins and history of interior Alaska’s Native people.