Archaeology

The TCC Archaeology Program works to comply with federal requirements on land sales, leases, and changes of status of restricted Indian lands by identifying and protecting Alaska Native heritage resources.  We pursue protection efforts of important Alaska Native cultural resources and traditional use sites.

Alaska Native heritage resources include:

  • historical sites
  • cemeteries
  • cabins
  • structures
  • buildings
  • ancient archaeological sites

Additionally, the TCC Archaeology Program works to preserve items or places of cultural significance protected under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and other federal and state historic preservation guidelines.

Our Work

The TCC Archaeology Program staff research affected areas using historic and scientific literature, oral histories and interviews, government information sources, and published archaeological research. This is usually followed by on-the-ground surveys for historic structures, and subsurface test pits to search for buried archaeological remains using shovels and hand-held screens.

If heritage sites are found, their potential for cultural significance and need for protection is evaluated in consultation with the State Heritage Preservation Office and Tribal governments. The TCC Archaeology Program negotiates adjustments in agreement documents to help buffer significant sites for preservation, and conducts scientific excavation for preservation, research, public display, and protection.

Our Research and Collaboration

The TCC Archaeology Program’s work with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, historical places and cemetery sites program has produced numerous reports and documentaries on Athabascan traditional history. Our work has been featured in printed media across Alaska, local and statewide radio programs, as well as local and international conferences.

For the past 10 years, the TCC Archaeology Program has collaborated with various Alaska high school programs.  One of these programs is the UAF Rural Alaska Honor Institute, which provides summer field school discovery programs to high school students.  This program allows our youth to participate in original discovery science while expanding their knowledge of Alaska Native cultural heritage in relation to archaeology and historical preservation.

Featured Projects

In addition to our everyday work, the TCC Archaeology Program has greatly contributed to many regional research projects.  

The following projects showcase our long term studies, help in organization of archaeological materials, and research and preservation efforts.