Archaeology Across the Arctic (Anne Jensen)

Video Shot in: 2009

Anne Jensen discusses the archaeology of the North Slope, an area in Alaska that has not been well-explored archaeologically. The logistics of exploring the area are complicated–much of the roadless area is difficult to access. Despite the difficulties, evidence of people on the North Slope over 10,000 years ago has been found, including fluted points and other artifacts. Dating these artifacts, however, can be imprecise due to the wiggling curve of radiocarbon dating. Jensen outlines the challenges of exploring coastal sites, which have been lost due to sea level rise and ice scouring. Dr. Jensen mentions a recent discovery of the Ipiutak Site on the North Slope. Such sites were previously only known to exist further south. The relationship between different cultures in the area, such as the Ipiutak, Thule, and Burner cultures, is also discussed.