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Nunalleq 2020

March 2, 2020

Rick has been stationed in Quinhagak working with the collection since October:

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My work station in the collections room at the Nunalleq Culture and Archaeology Center.

We will be looking for volunteers this summer to help with cataloging. Experience is helpful but not necessary. June 15-July 15.

‘Surfacing’ by Kathleen Jamie

November 4, 2019

Scottish author Kathleen Jamie visited Quinhagak and Nunalleq during the excavation some years ago, and this year her book Surfacing – an essay collection taking its starting point from her experiences in Quinhagak. Anchorage Daily News has recently published a review of the book. And this is what The Guardian is thinking.


‘Children of the Dig’ officially selected for the Red Nation Film Festival

October 7, 2019

‘Children of the Dig’, has been officially selected for the 24th Annual Red Nation Film Festival, playing November 1-14th in LA. RNFF is the largest Native Film Festival in the US, and has been working for 24 years to give a voice to Native stories and Native storytellers, and break down racism and stereotypes in the film industry.

And if you’re in LA November 1-14th, come support Children of the Dig and all the other great films playing at the fest.

Red Nation Film Fest in Variety

Josh says: Thank you to everyone giving our little doc so much love these past few months. It’s warmed my heart and lifted up the whole team. All we want to do is share Quinhagak’s beautiful, true story, and help people see why it’s so special. Thank you.

‘Children of the Dig’ joining the 44th Annual American Indian Film Festival

October 2, 2019

‘Children of the Dig’ continues to spread the word on Nunalleq – this time in AIFF.

From Branstetter Film: Proud to announce our documentary, ‘Children of the Dig’, will be playing at the 44th Annual American Indian Film Festival. AIFF is the longest-running Native American and First Nations film festival in the world, and has served as a showcase for Native American stories in the industry for 44 years.

Thank you to AIFF for helping to share the story of Quinhagak, Alaska – and their efforts to save more than 60,000 Yup’ik artifacts from a quickly eroding Alaskan coastline – with the world.

And if you’re in the San Francisco area October 26th through November 2nd, make sure to stop by and support ‘Children of the Dig’ and all the films playing at the fest.


‘Children of the Dig’ joins Polar Film Fest

September 25, 2019

Proud to announce ‘Children of the Dig’ will be screening as a part of the US Association of Polar Early Career Scientists’ Polar Film Festival 2019. APECS is an international organization that aims to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education, and outreach. Branstetter Film is honored to be participating in APECS’ international film effort this year, and is thankful for their work in helping to share the story of Quinhagak, Alaska, with the world.

For more on APECS and their global efforts:

Bilden kan innehålla: text

KTUU on the Nunalleq educational resource

September 18, 2019

KTUU has published a report on our digital educational resource.

See what they are talking about by downloading it from here.

Children of the Dig to Four Corners Festival

September 10, 2019

Children of the Dig, has been officially selected for the Four Corners Film Festival 2019.

Filmmaker Josh says: “We’re overjoyed that the story of Quinhagak, Alaska, and its efforts to save 60,000 500-year-old Yup’ik artifacts from an eroding coastline, continues to resonate with people, and can’t wait to share it with the people of New Mexico”.

“Thank you, FCFF, for helping to share that story, and thank you to all of our supporters for helping us to tell it”.



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.