Archeological Excavation

Two people working with tools in an square hole
Excavation work in Skagway's Historic District

NPS photo

Digging Into the Past

Archeological excavations can reveal a lot of information about a site and the people that lived there, or things that happened there. Unfortunately, while we can learn a lot from digging, doing so destroys the site which is why monitoring and preservation is our first choice. As a result, excavations in the park are only done on a need basis. Park archeologists preserve what they can to the best of their abilities so that future generations will have the information that would have otherwise been lost.
 
Ranger in hard hat kneels next to a square hole by an upraised building

When to Excavate?
To help stabilize and preserve our historic buildings, the park service often raises a building and lays a new, concrete foundation. Before pouring that foundation, park archeologists will do test excavations to make sure there are not archeological sites that will be covered by this new foundation.

Archeologists might dig if there was evidence that an area had been looted, or was at risk from a natural destructive process like erosion. While excavating "ruins" these sites, it does enable us to learn what we can from them before they disappear on their own.

 

Explore discoveries made by archeological excavation

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    Tags: excavation

    Last updated: January 12, 2016

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    Mailing Address:

    Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
    P.O. Box 517

    Skagway, AK 99840

    Phone:

    (907) 983-9200

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