People have made their homes in Denali National Park and Preserve for at least 12,000 years. Cultural resources professionals help share the stories of people with ties to the park, then and now.
In Alaska, as in the rest of the United States, the National Park Service recognizes and manages five basic types of cultural resources:
- Archeological Sites: Physical evidence of past human occupation or activity (the National Park Service recognizes two basic subcategories; prehistoric and historic archeological sites).
- Cultural Landscapes: Geographic areas associated with a historic event, activity, or person; or that exhibit other cultural or aesthetic values (this category includes designed, vernacular, and ethnographic landscapes). Cultural landscapes encompass both cultural and natural resources as well as any wildlife or domestic animals that have historic associations with the landscapes.
- Ethnographic Resources: Sites, structures, objects, landscapes, or natural features of traditional importance to a contemporary cultural group.
- Museum Objects: Material things that possess scientific, historical, cultural or aesthetic values (usually movable by nature or design).
- Historic Structures: Constructed works created to serve some human activity (usually immovable by nature or design – buildings, bridges, earthworks, roads, rock cairns, etc. – prehistoric or historic).