Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Iñupiat Sod House Excavated in Alaska

Monday, October 07, 2013

Walakpa Alaska DigWALAKPA, ALASKA—A sod house dating to 500 A.D. and a midden were discovered last summer by some ATV riders driving along Alaska’s Arctic Ocean coastline. The site, which was exposed during storms, is in danger of washing into the sea, so archaeologist Anne Jensen and her team have been working quickly to excavate it and protect it from the coming winter season. “Arctic archaeology is pretty labor intensive and expensive,” she explained. Jensen will spend this winter analyzing the finds. Iñupiat people are known to have lived in this area for 3,500 years.