Archaeology

Material evidence of past human life and activities can be found in many places on both the Tongass and the Chugach National Forests. From rock art, to fish traps, to mining relics, to historic structures and totems, the landscape and the layers beneath the ground tell the story of the people who have lived here.

  • Prehistory of Alaska, National Park Service Website - This site gives an overview of the early prehistory of Alaska (events prior to 4000 BP*) with links to pages on the later prehistory of specific regions in the state. *BP – Before present. Archaeological dates are usually expressed in radiocarbon years. To archaeologists, the "present" is set at the year 1950- the year radiocarbon dating was invented. For example, 900 BP means 900 years before 1950.
  • Project Archaeology, Alaska - Part of a nationwide effort that prepares educators to teach archaeology, this program features Alaska and is aimed primarily at school children, grades 4 through 7. It includes a series of student activities and curriculum enrichment material.
  • Passport in Time - Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the Forest Service (FS). PIT volunteers work with professional FS archaeologists and historians on national forests throughout the U.S.  For more information, or to apply to work on a project, visit the website.
  • And if you have a deeper interest in archaeology, you might take a look at the University of Alaska, Anchorage Anthropology Department website or the site for the Alaska Anthropological Association.


Forest Service archaeologists and Passport in Time volunteers excavate a site on Etolin Island

Forest Service archaeologists and Passport in Time volunteers excavate a site on Etolin Island, Wrangell Ranger District, Tongass National Forest