• Image of mountains and river

    Gates Of The Arctic

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Lake Matcharak Archaeology

Hard at Work
Archaeologists excavating at Matcharak Lake.
NPS/A. Tremayne

During a routine field survey in 2007, NPS archaeologists noted stone artifacts and animal bone fragments eroding out of a shoreline bluff on Lake Matcharak. Continued investigations have produced a suite of previously unidentified archaeological sites around the lake, several of which have been radiocarbon dated to more than 4000 years old.

At one of these sites further investigation -in the form of systematic subsurface testing and excavation- has revealed the unprecedented, well preserved remains of a Denbigh Paleoeskimo hunting camp.The following pages will describe the efforts of the Park archaeologists to document and research these important finds.

This first link is a short summary of the initial investigations carried out at the site.

Lake Matcharak Dig 2009 (pdf)

This link is a more in depth scientific journal article based on the Masters Thesis project of Andy Tremaye, the principle investigator of the site.

Matcharak Faunal Analysis 2011 (pdf)

Additionally, the Park Curator has created a web exhibit to highlight the importance of the site and the materials recovered from it.

Archaeological Research at a Prehistoric Paleo-Eskimo Camp: A Virtual Exhibit


Archaeology Month 2014

The Denbigh Flint Complex was highlighted for the Alaska Archaeology Month annual poster, learn more about this and check out the poster here.

Did You Know?

A caribou standing in the snow.

Three caribou herds migrate through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in the Spring and Fall.