When I introduce myself as an archaeologist, almost everyone will ask me: how do you find sites? This is such a great question. Many sites, like the Great Pyramids of Giza, don't need to be found: people have known about them for centuries. But many other sites, such as prehistoric Alaskan hunting camps, can only be found through carefully organized, professional archaeological surveys.
In many situations, we have to dig small holes to find archaeological materials, usually according to a grid or based on landscape features. But, in some places, the sites can be found right on the surface!
While I was hunting this past September, I was scanning for caribou when I looked down and saw half of this beautiful biface (right). I found the other half only a few feet away. Right where my dad and I were watching caribou, our prehistoric counterparts, likely Ahtna hunters, had done the very same thing. I recorded this new prehistoric site and submitted that information to the Bureau of Land Management so that it can be included in the Alaska Historic Resource Survey.
Bree is an Alaskan Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming.