Archaeology of the Central Alaska Peninsula

Archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum and National Park Service excavating at a village site in the Meshik River valley (photo by Scott Shirar)

The UA Museum of the North is partnering with the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to implement an archaeological research project on the Central Alaska Peninsula. Prehistoric human occupations in this region were drastically impacted by three major, caldera-forming volcanic events that occurred between 2000 and 1400 years ago. It is estimated that these three eruptions sent a combined 200km3 of ash and rock into the air. Sixteen previously unrecorded archaeological sites were located and documented during June of 2010. Field and laboratory research will continue over the next three years to better understand the archaeology of this area and the impact that volcanic eruptions had on the people that lived there.