Archeology | History | Museum Collections | Subsistence

Archeologists for Gates of the Arctic conduct field surveys and excavations as well as in-depth analytical research to investigate the lives of the people who have called these lands home for more than 13,000 years. Below are descriptions of recent research and some of the archeological highlights known from the park.

Site Overview

NPS/C. Ciancibelli

Lake Matcharak Archeology

At a remote lake in the Noatak River valley a recently discovered archeological site that is 4000 years old has revealed significant findings about the Arctic Small Tool Tradition and the first people to colonize the High Arctic. Read More...

Obsidian Point-thumbnail


Obsidian Research

Obsidian is volcanic glass used throughout prehistory to fashion tools. It also has special properties that make it useful for reconstructing prehistoric travel and trade. Obsidian artifacts are commonly found in Gates of the Arctic since the major source in Alaska lies not far outside the park. Find out what Park archeologists have learned by studying these artifacts. Read More...

Agiak aerial

NPS/J. Rasic

Caribou Hunter's Landscape at Agiak Lake

People have hunted caribou in the Brooks Range for thousands of years. One strategy characteristic of the region was to steer the animals into lakes where they were hunted from kayaks. Exceptionally well preserved evidence of this system in the form of stone hunting blinds and hundreds of rock cairns (inuksuit) can be found at Agiak Lake. Read more...


Did You Know?