Field School

2016 Field School in Subarctic Archaeology: Mead Site

Dates: May 16 through June 18, 2016

Description:  Mead site is a multicomponent site consisting of at least 4 components dating from 14,000 to 1,400 years ago in deeply buried stratified contexts in the mid Tanana Basin, near Delta Junction, Alaska. The 2016 excavation and field school at Mead is designed to better understand activity areas and technological and subsistence change through time. Specifically, we will focus on areas of the site where we recovered numerous faunal remains (bison, waterfowl, small game, and fish) dating to ~12,500 cal BP, that may represent multiple ancient house floors. In the past several seasons, we encountered multiple hearth features with associated fauna, including (1) a Pre-Clovis horizon associated with bison and quartz lithics dating to >13,300 cal BP, (2) an early horizon with 6 hearths dating to over 13,000 cal BP, (3) a Younger Dryas horizon (Folsom age) with 15 hearth-related activity areas dating to 12,500 cal BP, and (4) a middle Holocene layer with an associated cache pit, the earliest of its kind in this region. All of these areas have associated well preserved faunal remains. We expect to recover numerous lithic and faunal remains, probably in association with hearth features. This will give field school students an unparalleled opportunity to participate in a cutting edge excavation of an important site, using modern archaeological equipment and techniques that will be valuable to them in their future work and classes. 

Please visit the Field School website for more information.