Topic ID #27998 - posted 4/1/2013 6:35 PM

Field School in Alaska


Archaeology on the Alaska Peninsula: Excavations at the Moose Hill Site, Kvichak River

July 29 - August 23, 2013

University of Alaska Southeast - ANTH A493 Field Methods in Archaeology 6 -9 credit hours

Field Directors: Dr. Dan Monteith (UAS), Michael Farrell (UAA) and Sean Mack (BIA)

Field school students will receive training in all aspects of archaeological excavation and testing strategies, survey techniques, mapping, and field laboratory techniques while experiencing the remote wilderness of the Bristol Bay region. Field lectures will be given on the deep cultural, environmental, and glacial history of the region; lithic analysis; geoarchaeology; pre-contact hunting and fishing technologies; and modern subsistence practices.

The 2013 excavations will focus on the investigation of the function, internal architecture, and cultural affiliation of the large (~17m x 12m) ceremonial house, or qasgiq, dating to Cal BP 740 located on the western inland portion of the site. Within the village social structure, the qasgiq was the focus of village life and the primary area for ceremonial, trade exchange, and tool manufacturing. The qasgiq also served as the communal living area for the men of the village and as the learning center for the youth of the community. Through the close analysis of house floors and associated features, recovered materials will aid in discerning patterns of family organization, behavior, gendered activity, and offer insight into the overall social structure of the community. Preliminary analysis of over 300 artifacts recovered from the eroding southern terrace and northern stabilized dunes suggests a much greater occupational history of the land-form by the region’s earlier terrestrial based subsistence harvesters.

A field camp will be established on-site utilizing an existing cabin and small outbuildings (the land is on private property), and enclosed by an electric bear fence for protection. Students will be expected to provide their own transportation (airfare from Anchorage ~ $450), their own sleeping bags, head nets, outdoor clothing, good work boots, rain gear, tents, and an ample supply of insect repellent is encouraged. A more detailed list of what to bring will be provided by the instructor. All excavation equipment, supplies, food, and transportation to and from the site starting in King Salmon, Alaska will be provided. Weather is generally warm throughout the summer, with relatively little rain, and the wind minimizes mosquitoes. The camp setting is extremely remote, located roughly 15 miles upriver from the village of Levelock, and students should expect to remain in camp for the duration of the class.

In addition to excavation duties, students will participate in a variety of camp chores such as cooking, cleaning, providing wood for the fire and steam bath, and assisting with site tours for visitors. Students will be encouraged to enjoy the fantastic fishing opportunities the Kvichak River offers. If you have special dietary needs, or distaste for salmon, please inform the instructor prior to departure so proper accommodations can be made. We'll be working six days a week - days off can be spent hiking, fishing, sight-seeing, swimming, berry picking, or lounging and relaxing in the steam bath. Summer weather in the region is generally moderate to warm (55°- 65° F), though some cold nights (40° F) should be planned for. As is to be expected of a remote field setting in Alaska, an abundance of wildlife is present along the river - including brown bear, moose, wolves, caribou and fox.

To register for the field school, please go to University of Alaska Southeast enrollment at, and follow admission links
Registration begins around April 10 and must be completed by May 15th.
Course costs: 6 - 9 credits - $1200/1800 tuition plus $650 fees (additional airfare from Anchorage ~ $450)
For course application and further information, please contact Michael Farrell at

Post ID#20064 - replied 4/1/2013 6:36 PM


Post ID#20066 - replied 4/1/2013 7:08 PM



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