I spent a week volunteering for Crystal Glassburn (above), archaeologist at the Bureau of Land Management, in part of her region just north of the Brooks Range in Alaska. We conducted test excavations at a small site eroding into Mosquito Lake (above) and surveying for prehistoric material around Galbraith and Toolik Lakes.
This region is home to the Nunamiut, a group of northern hunter-gatherers made famous by Lewis Binford's landmark Nunamiut Ethnoarchaeology. Many of the sites we recorded were camps likely occupied by prehistoric Nunamiut caribou hunters.
This is one of the most beautiful and challenging places I have ever worked. On this treeless arctic landscape, the 50+ mph gusts, freezing rain, and snow we experienced were typical for mid-July. Thankfully, all that weather chased away the swarms of mosquitos this region is infamous for. Working here gave me an even deeper appreciation for the Nunamiut, who have subsisted in these arctic mountains year-round for generations.
Bree is an Alaskan Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming.