The Future of Arctic Archaeology (Anne Jensen)

Video Shot in: 2022

Anne Jensen discusses the current state of archaeology in the Arctic and offers insights into the future. She mentions that the future of Arctic archaeology depends on funding and whether there is interest in exploring sites that are currently underexplored, particularly interior sites. Many of these sites remain unknown because they are often avoided during surveys for oil field infrastructure, and there is a lack of information about them. Anne highlights the challenges of conducting research in remote Arctic locations, including the need for helicopters and logistical support. She expresses doubt that the National Science Foundation (NSF) would fund such endeavors, except perhaps if the site was in proximity to an existing base camp. Anne emphasizes the importance of studying Arctic sites, especially those on the North Slope, as they differ from sites on the Seward Peninsula or the coast of the Bering Sea. She laments the loss of archaeological materials, particularly older artifacts and recent ones along the Beaufort coast of Alaska, due to coastal erosion. Anne mentions a friend, Elite George Levitt, who was born in a sod house at Cape Halka, highlighting the rapid erosion and disappearance of such historical sites.