Topic ID #38237 - posted 4/12/2017 10:35 AM

Swan Point Archaeological Field School-Alaska


The Tanana Valley in the Alaskan Interior has been the focus of archaeological research since the 1930's. The oldest site thus far described is the Swan Point Archaeological Site which has been almost continually excavated since its discovery in early 1990’s. The site is representative of all major archaeological traditions in the Interior. Swan Point represents four major cultural components; the earliest is over 14,300 years old, currently the oldest dated cultural zone in Alaska. The oldest component of this stratified site contains microblade technology similar to the ancient Duktai cultural widespread in Siberia. This deeply buried site also represents occupations associated with the Younger Dryas, the middle Holocene, the late Prehistoric, and Historic periods. The focus of the current field school will be to explore archaeological components associated with these horizons in the Shaw Creek flats. This is a great opportunity for field school students to participate in the excavation of an important North American site, and will provide experience with cutting edge archaeological equipment and methodology that will provide valuable training for their professional future. Additional field trips will be taken to other important cultural sites throughout the Interior every Sunday. The Tanana River Valley is a wide river basin with lush stands of spruce, birch, poplar, and willow. The site is located in the foothills of the Yukon Tanana Uplands, a region of low elevation hills. The Alaska Range, visible to the south, is typified by peaks rising 12-14,000 feet.

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