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KOYUKUK: Whispers of the Past, Archaeology of the Refuge
Alaska Region, February 16, 2011
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Galena residents study a map of known archaeological sites on the Koyukuk Refuge.
Galena residents study a map of known archaeological sites on the Koyukuk Refuge. - Photo Credit: n/a
Students in Hughes learn about the nearby Batza Tena obsidian source and look at artifacts from around Alaska.
Students in Hughes learn about the nearby Batza Tena obsidian source and look at artifacts from around Alaska. - Photo Credit: n/a

Scott Shirar, research archaeologist at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, joined FWS Park Ranger Karin Bodony to present information on known archaeological sites within the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuges at three villages this winter.  Through the Challenge Cost Share Program, Shirar had spent two weeks during summer 2010 with a field crew that floated the Koyukuk River looking for archaeological sites between the villages of Hughes and Huslia.  He presented slides and information on the findings of trip, as well as information on the Nogahabara Dunes site and Batza Tena.  The latter is a very important obsidian source that lies south of the village of Hughes within the Koyukuk NWR.  People used the glass-like obsidian to make stone tools for thousands of years, and obsidian from Batza Tena has been found in archaeological sites in Alaska, Canada, and eastern Russia.  It is found at some of the oldest known sites in the state (over 10,000 ybp), so it has probably been an important resource as long as people have lived here.

Presentations were made in classrooms and community gatherings in Galena, Huslia, and Hughes.  In addition to a slide show, maps were provided that showed known archaeological sites in the Refuge and provided opportunities for residents to share their own observations and recollections of the area.

 


Contact Info: Karin Bodony Karin Bodony, (907) 656-1231, karin_bodony@fws.gov



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