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Rick receives Friends of First Alaskans Ted Stevens Award

November 21, 2022

Our one and only Rick Knecht has been honoured with this year’s Friends of First Alaskans Ted Stevens Award, a well deserved acknowledgment of all the important archaeological work Rick has done in Alaska over the last 40 years. This Saturday he received it during the First Alaskans Institute 2022 Smokehouse Gala in Anchorage. Congratulations Rick!

When you open the drawers…

July 5, 2022

A peek inside one of the collection room drawers at the Nunalleq Museum in Quinhagak. Nearly 500 dolls/human figurines were found at the Nunalleq site. Some were used as toys, as well as in a wide variety of religious and ceremonial functions. Most were made from wood, then painted and provided with fur clothing, which remains intact on several of the dolls in the collection.

Nunalleq Season of 2022

June 29, 2022

After two seasons with very little on-site research due to COVID-19 restrictions, Nunalleq researchers will be back in Quinhagak this summer with various projects. The season started already in May when Charlotta and Alice went to Quinhagak for a week to do some work for their Nunalleq Digital Museum-project. You can read about it on Alice’s blog.

Alice scanning her 200th artefact of the week

Currently, Rick is in Quinhagak, where he will soon be joined by volunteers working on the remaining cataloguing of the collection. They will have their work cut out for them this summer. Other research activities will include continued surveying and some test pitting, and in August Charlotta and Alice returns (brining with them Anna) for a couple of weeks of community workshops for the digital museum. Busy summer, so keep an eye out for updates 🙂

Ending with an image from Rick:

“Yup’ik dance group rehearsal tonight at the Nunalleq Museum in Quinhagak, Alaska. I’m guessing that this may be one of the only museum conservation labs in the world that converts into a dance floor in the evenings”

Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs by Ann Williams

November 8, 2021

This month’s National Geographic cover story that features the Nunalleq site was based on a new book by Ann Williams; Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World. Ann visited Quinhagak and the Nunalleq excavation in 2015, and wrote the first National Geographic Magazine story about the site following her visit.

National Geographic Magazine has named Nunalleq one of 100 archaeological ‘wonders of the World’

November 3, 2021

In their November issue National Geographic Magazine select Nunalleq to be one among 100 archaeological discoveries that ‘have expanded our understanding of human history’. What an amazing recognition!

Nunalleq in New York Times

November 2, 2021

Nunalleq is featuring in a COP26 related article in New York Times today ‘As Earth Warms, Human History is Melting Away‘.

Nunalleq and the little Ice Age educating youtube :)

April 21, 2021

Nunalleq and the Little Ice Age is featuring in a fabulous new episode on the PSB show Eons. Enjoy!

Archaeological Institute of America Award: Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology

January 12, 2021

Last Thursday on the AIA award ceremony, we were very proud receivers of the Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology Award 2021 for our Educational Resource:

Nunalleq PhD-success

December 17, 2020

Our own Anna Mossolova recently passed her PhD-defence on Yup’ik mask making traditions with a well-deserved distinction. Congratulations Anna!

You can find a pdf-version of her dissertation here.

AIA Award Winners!

November 19, 2020

Some exciting news dropped in our inboxes this morning – the Nunalleq Educational Resource just won the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2021 award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology!

3 Common Work Goals & How to Crush Them

The award is shared among a big team of collaborators who came together to share the story of Nunalleq and its many voices – we will be celebrating all the way from Scotland to Alaska today – Cheers everyone!

Core Team

Rick Knecht & Charlotta Hillerdal: Archaeological Directors

Warren Jones, Grace Hill & The Qanirtuuq Incorporated Village Corporation Board: Quinhagak Culture Bearers and Advisors

Alice Watterson: Creative Director, Archaeological Reconstruction Artist, Character Design, Environment and Creature Animation, Artifact Digitalization, Interface Design

John Anderson: Interface Design and Programming

Tom Paxton: Character Design and Animation

Pauline Matthews, Dora Strunk and Lonny Strunk: English to Yup’ik translations.

Crystal Carter: Youth co-ordinator


Jimmy Anaver, Alice Bailey, Pauline Beebe, Lise Bos, Crystal Carter, Joseph Carter, Willard Church, Emily Cleveland, Joshua Cleveland, Annie Don, Charlotta Hillerdal, Grace Hill, Ana Jorge, Rick Knecht, Francis Lukezic, Roy Mark, Julie Masson-MacLean, Edouard Masson-MacLean, Chuna Mcintyre, Alice Watterson, Anna Mossolova, Jonathan Lim, Rufus Rowe, John Smith, Mike Smith, Dora Strunk, Larissa Strunk, Lonny Strunk.

Thanks also to the many people who contributed their support, knowledge, feedback and faces throughout the project, this list includes members of the local community, colleagues, specialists, students, and volunteers. If we have missed out any names we apologize but know that your help was appreciated.

Jimmy Anaver, Alice Bailey, Kieran Baxter, Pauline Beebe, Ellinor Berggren, Dawn Biddison, Brendan Body, Lise Bos, Michael Broderick, Sarah Brown, Crystal Carter, Joseph Carter, Lucy Carter, Sally Carter, Ben Charles, Mary Church, Willard Church, Daniele Clementi, Annie Cleveland, Emily Cleveland, Joshua Cleveland, Aron Crowell, Neil Curtis, Angie Demma, Annie Don, Julia Farley, Patti Fredericks, Tricia Gillam, Sean Gleason, Sven Haakanson, Cheryl Heitman, Grace Hill, Diana Hunter, Joel Isaak, Warren Jones, Stephan Jones, Ana Jorge, Solveig Junglas, Eva Malvich, Melia Knecht, Erika Larsen, Paul Ledger, Jonathan Lim Soon, Amber Lincoln, Hannah Lotta, Steve Luke, Francis Lukezic, Pauline Matthews, Roy Mark, Mhairi Maxwell, Chuna Mcintyre, Drew Michael, Amanda Mina, Anna Mossolova, Carl Nicolai Jr, Chris Niskanen, Molly Odell, Lauren Phillips, Lucy Qin, Charlie Roberts, Chris Rowe, Rufus Rowe, John Rundall, Melissa Shaginoff, Monica Shah, Anna Sloan, Darryl Small Jr, John Smith, Mike Smith, Joey Sparaga, Dora Strunk, Larissa Strunk, Lonny Strunk, Larry Strunk, Robbie Strunk, Prof Chris Rowland, Sandra Toloczko, Richard Vanderhoek, the Quinhagak Dance Group and the staff at Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat.

The resource was funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council, the University of Aberdeen’s Commercialization Award, the University of Dundee, and the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 3DVisLab.

You can download the resource for free here!