Deciphering the Past with Archaeology!

This module will provide students the opportunity to experience all aspects archaeology! Participants will learn the fundamental principles of archaeology and how humans have survived in the sub-arctic/arctic for well over 14,000 years through the historic time period. Students will gain first-hand experience in finding, testing and excavating at an archaeological site. After which, they will prepare and process collected data and materials from the excavation (e.g. downloading waypoints, creating site maps, analyzing artifacts, identifying animal bones, etc.). New to this year’s module is an experimental archaeology component. This component will allow students to learn what experimental archaeology is and how experimental studies can assist in deciphering the archaeological record. This module will be in-town with day trips. This is a prime opportunity for high school aged students to be engaged in the thrill of discovery, be outside, and learn how humans lived before modern amenities. Come and be part of the discovery!

Archaeology group



Instructor: Josh Reuther
Josh Reuther

I have been around archaeology since I was 13. My father lived near archaeology sites in central Arizona and we visited them quite a bit to talk with the archaeologists excavating and the community members and park rangers that helped to preserve them. I have always been interested in how people live in extreme environments, and interior Alaska and central Arizona are pretty extreme. When I began in college at UAF, studying anthropology drew me in because of its focus on human behavior – archaeology just happens to be the part of anthropology that focuses on the ancient past. Through the years, I have been lucky enough to work and share my interests in archaeology, and this will be my 5th year with ARSA, which is always the highlight of my summers.

Instructor: Scott Shirar
Scott Shirar

My first experience with archaeology was when I enrolled in the archaeological field school during the summer session after my freshman year at Indiana University. During that field school we spent four weeks excavating a thousand-year-old abandoned village site, which is now a farmer’s cornfield in south-central Indiana. After my first day in the field I was hooked on archaeology, where you never know what the next trowel stroke will uncover. I look forward to my seventh year participating in the ASRA program and to teaching students how archaeology is carried out in the field and in the laboratory to learn about past human culture. 
I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at Indiana University and my Master of Arts in Anthropology at UAF. 

Instructor: Sam Coffman
Sam Coffman

I have always enjoyed learning about past cultures. My first “taste” of archaeology came on a volunteer excavation at a historic mining town in Nevada. Since then, I knew archaeology was going to be my in my future. My main research interests include analyzing stone tools and learning about prehistoric hunter-gathers of Alaska. I believe archaeology is a rewarding field, offering you a chance to explore and travel to new places while continuing in the quest to understand past human lifeways. This will be my 7th year being involved in ASRA. The 2019 ASRA project will be a great opportunity for all those involved.
I earned my MA in Anthropology from UAF and my BA from the University of Nevada. 

Instructor: Fawn Carter
Fawn Carter

Archaeology combines some of my favorite activities such as being outdoors, studying prehistory, lab analysis, and playing in the dirt. The idea of finding artifacts that are thousands of years old and using them to reconstruct past cultures and lifestyles is remarkable and has always appealed to me. This will be my fourth year with ASRA and I can’t wait to inspire and teach the next generation of archaeologists. I earned both my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Anthropology at UAF.