Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Large Underground Village Uncovered in Alaska

Friday, August 02, 2013

KIANA, ALASKA—A village of underground houses connected by tunnels has been found in northern Alaska’s Kobuk Valley National Park by Doug Anderson of Brown University and his students. “In some other areas here we’ve found maybe two houses that are connected by tunnels, but nothing like this. And in other areas those houses are really quite small compared to the houses here; these are gigantic houses,” he said. As many as 200 people may have lived in the village from the late 1700s to early 1800s, just before contact was made with European explorers. The few metal artifacts and glass beads that have been found at the site may have come from trading with Asian peoples across the Bering Strait or other Alaskans from the interior. DNA from local people will be compared to DNA from human remains from the site. Dog remains suggest that the people lived closely with their canine companions.