Skip to content

Join us in Nunalleq this summer?

March 23, 2017

Don’t forget you can join us excavating or working in the conservation lab this summer!!

Field school ad 2.0

Click here for more info

Nunalleq/Quinhagak in National Geographic

March 15, 2017

The National Geographic article on Nunalleq/Quinhagak is now available online. The printed version will be featuring in the April 2017 issue of the magazine.

Nunalleq/Quinhagak National Geographic talk in Washington

March 11, 2017

If any of our readers have the opportunity to go to Washington in April, Rick will be there for a National Geographic Geographic Society talk ‘Treasures from the Tundra‘.

About this Event

National Geographic photographer ERIKA LARSEN and archaeologist DR. RICK KNECHT will reveal how climate change–driven melting ice has unearthed thousands of exquisitely preserved artifacts around the world—and how corresponding rising sea levels have forced archaeologists into a race to find and protect still-hidden treasures before it’s too late. National Geographic magazine writer Ann Williams will lead a discussion.

Nunalleq 2017 Field school and Conservation Lab

March 6, 2017

This summer we will be back in Quinhagak excavation the Nunalleq site for six weeks between July 1 and August 15, and you have the opportunity to join us! We will be taking on advanced field school students, as well as – for the first time – volunteers -no previous experience necessary!

This year a conservation lab will also be set up in Quinhagak, and there are openings for students and volunteers to help out with the artefact processing as well.

Apply now!


Past matters research futures conference

February 28, 2017

Véronique Forbes, Claire Houmard et Paul Ledger, nos postdoctorants, ont été invités à participer à la conférence “Past Matters – Research Futures” en décembre 2016. Cette rencontre de deux jours, organisée par l’Art and Humanities Research Council et le LabEx “Les Passés dans le Présent”, visait à faire dialoguer et connaître les jeunes chercheurs travaillant sur des projets soutenus par ces institutions. Nous avons ainsi eu l’occasion de présenter dans trois communications différentes les recherches menées sur le site de Nunalleq. Véronique a abordé la question des conflits en s’appuyant sur l’archéoentomologie (‘Commemorating prehistoric warfare through archaeology: the Bow-and-Arrow-Wars at Nunalleq, southwestern Alaska’). Claire a présenté les collaborations entre archéologues et Yup’ik dans un contexte de changement climatique (‘Linking the Past and the Future in Alaska: Community, Policy and Archaeologies of Climate Change’). Paul s’est attaché aux témoignages historiques et archéologiques touchant à la botanique (‘Present and past perceptions of plants in narratives of Yup’ik history’). Bien que répartis sur deux salles différentes, l’ensemble des participants a pu suivre au moins une des présentations sur Nunalleq car les communications étaient synchrones.


In December our past and present postdocs, Véronique Forbes, Claire Houmard and Paul Ledger, participated and presented their research at the ‘Past Matters – Research Futures’ conference organised by the AHRC. This two day meeting, hosted at the Royal Society, brought together young researchers from the UK and France working across the AHRC ‘Care for the future’ and LabEx ‘The past in the present’ research themes. Véronique presented her new Marie Curie funded postdoc ‘WARFLY’ through a paper entitled ‘Commemorating prehistoric warfare through archaeology: the Bow-and-Arrow-Wars at Nunalleq, southwestern Alaska’. At the same time Claire and Paul presented their research in a parallel session. Claire’s paper was entitled ‘Linking the Past and the Future in Alaska: Community, Policy and Archaeologies of Climate Change’ while Paul discussed his research on the role of plants at Nunalleq in ‘Present and past perceptions of plants in narratives of Yup’ik history’.


Claire and Paul

Piecing together the past

February 19, 2017

It has been a busy winter in the Alaska lab.


Here the conservation team is reconstructing pottery vessels and putting catalogue numbers onto wooden artefacts. 


Here you can see a pottery vessel being reconstructed. 

Reconstructing a vessel takes a lot of patience, and requires a steady hand. First the joining pieces are glued together, and then the gaps and cracks are filled with a coloured plaster. The plaster is tinted in a way that the original fragments can still be easily distinguished. That way you can see for yourself how much of the vessel is original, and what had to bee ‘imagined’ by the skilled conservator. The process is reversible in that the pot can be taken apart again if necessary. The vessel on the picture is one of several almost complete pots recovered from Nunalleq.



On a shelf in Aberdeen…

February 18, 2017

These wooden artefacts from Nunalleq have just had catalogue numbers attached and are awaiting entry into a computer data base. Lately we have been processing about 2,000 artefacts a week. After all the conservation, cataloging and preliminary analysis is complete, the collection will be returned to Quinhagak and the new Cultural and Archaeological centre that is being built in the village. You will be able to see them there probably within a year.