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Our Educational Resource for Nunalleq is Now Online and Free to Download!

August 5, 2019

We are very excited to announce that the first release of our educational resource for Nunalleq is finished and available for Mac and PC!

“What was life like for Yup’ik people living on the Bering Sea coast 500 years ago?

Nunalleq: Stories from the Village of Our Ancestors is a free interactive educational resource for Mac and PC which invites children to explore the story of the archaeological excavations of the Nunalleq sod house. This multi-vocal resource was co-designed by the Nunalleq Archaeology Project and local Quinhagak community. It brings together narratives from archaeologists, Elders, Alaska Native artists and young people within the village.”

The resource will be distributed to schools in the Lower Kuskokwim School District region on USB’s in time for the new term in fall 2019. Actually, we are packaging up the materials today as we speak and they will be in the mail to the 27 LKSD schools very soon!


Making up the school packs ready to post from Scotland to Alaska!

If you would like a personal copy you can also download and install the resource on your computer or laptop for free at the University of Dundee’s 3DVisLab website here:

Have fun, and please let us know what you think in the comments section below. If you have any technical issues we will try our best to help! Share as widely as you can, it’s available to everyone and we’re all super proud of it 🙂


Winding down

August 4, 2019


The 2019 season at Nunalleq is winding down here in Quinhagak. This year our field work included local survey and testing of sites rather than our usual large scale excavation. Our focus this year was on cataloging finds from the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The hard working lab crew cataloged more than 18,500 artifacts this past month. I’ll be spending the next couple weeks entering the information into a computer along with archiving our previous season’s photographs and other records. So far the catalog includes more than 90,000 entries. By the end of next summer we will be well into the six figures.


Making a kayak…

August 3, 2019

67639743_2650367668331485_4991604463060910080_nTraditional kayak makers bent their kayak ribs using their teeth to crush the wood grain. Dick Bunyan was photographed using this technique in Hooper Bay. Human teeth marks are clearly visible on many of the kayak ribs and other bentwood artifacts from the Nunalleq site, as in this example from c. 1600.


Surveying for sites

August 2, 2019

This summer’s field season has been focussing on post-ex work, treating and cataloguing artefacts, rather than excavation. However, the area around Quinhagak has also been surveyed to look for new sites, one promising site was located on the Arolik river front.

68441940_2650171038351148_5601163947039260672_nThe Arolik River site testing crew on our only rainy day this summer.

Several new late prehistoric and historic sites were mapped and tested this year, however none of them so far have had the remarkably well-preserved deposits of preserved organic materials found at the Nunalleq site.

Nunalleq in The Conversation

July 31, 2019

We have forgotten to tell you that our own Alice has written a pice on Nunalleq and Quinhagak for The Conversation. Enjoy 🙂

Cataloguing artefacts

July 25, 2019

Have you wondered how the artefact cataloguing process is going in our lab? Tess will take you through this 3-step procedure in one minute.

Hardworking Elves

July 24, 2019

Sorry for being out of touch for the past few weeks – a combination of no wifi and being busy in the lab has limited our ability to update the blog! I arrived in Quinhagak on July 1st, and since then we have mostly been doing lab work, with Jonathan surveying (he will give an update on that!) In the lab this summer we’ve been cataloguing the artifacts, meaning we are giving every artifact (from 2017 and 2018 field seasons) an individual number that Rick will then enter into the computer along with its specific provenience information. By the end of last week, we finished labelling the wooden artifacts, which totalled 16,400. Our average per day was 1,093 artifacts. Now we have also gone through the bone and have begun cataloguing the lithics.



Crew at work


Every day in the lab we each catalogue around 200-300 artifacts


Vermeer-style Meta


“Lab girls” working on their nails (lol)