Northern Alaska Rock Art
While prehistoric rock art is common in some regions, it is rare in Interior and Northern Alaska. Archaeologists working in the 1960s found boulders adorned with petroglyphs at three different lakefront sites in what is now the Noatak National Preserve. The rock art remained on location, unobserved for almost 40 years until this summer, when a team from the UA Museum of the North and the National Park Service assembled to make sketches and take tracings.
Museum staff members Scott Shirar, research archaeologist, and Mareca Guthrie, fine arts collection manager, were among the crew that visited the village sites in July. During smallscale excavations in the shallow depressions that mark the remains of prehistoric dwellings, the team made an exciting discovery. As Shirar tells the museum's communication manager Theresa Bakker, they found four clay disks decorated with lines, grooves and perforations.