The Dalton Highway: A Multi-Media History of Alaska's Arctic Road

Archeologist: Mike Kunz

Select a section below to listen to the interview segments.
Interviewer: Marie Mitchell Michael L. Kunz Michael L. Kunz  
Date: November 14, 2006
Identifier: H2006-28-01, tape 1 & 2
Approximate Length: 90 min.
Biographical Information: Born September 1, 1942 in Galveston, Texas,
Mike Kunz currently works for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Fairbanks, Alaska. His title is Archeologist / District Aviation Manager. Mike Kunz has performed many archeological field studies in Alaska, beginning with the Healy Lake archeological site in 1969. Mike shares his knowledge of the development of the Haul Road and the Hickel Highway, and why Haul Road and TAPS archeology played an important role for understanding Alaskan prehistory and history.
Summary of Interview: Mike Kunz discusses his studies at Eastern New Mexico University; his interest in archeology, geology, and natural sciences ever since childhood; the past and present methods used in archeology; the reasons archeology is a valued profession, "people are interested in their personal, cultural history"; the archeological field work he has been involved with in Alaska. He describes his position as Supervisory Archeologist during the Haul Road excavations; his impression of the Haul Road and Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) archeology and his memories of h the largest construction job in the world in the most remote part of the world.
Storytelling: Click to listen to Kunz describe what led to his interest in archeology.
Click to listen to Kunz reflect back on being left out overnight in the field while surveying.

This interview has been edited. Original recording is available at the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Libary, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Segment 01) Mike Kunz was born in Galveston, Texas before World War II. During most of his childhood years, he was raised in upstate New York. Mike was always interested in history, archeology and the natural environment. An anthropology professor encouraged him to become an archeologist.

birthplace -- Galveston, Texas\ World War II\ childhood -- upstate New York\ interests -- history\ archeology \ natural environment\ professor -- archeological field|

Segment 02) Mike enrolled at Eastern New Mexico University and received his undergraduate degree in anthropology. As a student, he had the opportunity to do field work at the type site for the Clovis culture, the oldest culture in North America. The anthropology department was doing the primary research, which offered him the opportunity to have first hand experience with an archeological site that offered evidence of human occupation in the new world.

Eastern New Mexico University -- attended\ undergraduate degree -- anthropology\ student -- field work\ field work -- importance of|

Segment 03) Mike feels that people are interested in their history. For him, he loves the wilderness in Alaska. His grandfather left for Alaska to prospect the Klondike Gold Rush and kept a personal diary. His father, Thomas Kunz, was in Alaska during World War II. His ancestry made Mike interested in Alaska. According to Mike, "Most people are interested in their past history and the region they live in. Archeology is appealing to anyone because it tells people about who they are, where you are, what people were before you". Also, in a scientific way archeology is forensic, finding clues to something that has happened in the past and trying to solve the puzzle. Archeology uses various scientific methods to discover the answers. "Intriguing to people when they learn what archeologists do".

people -- interest in\ history -- personal\ wilderness -- appreciation of\ Alaska -- family\ background\ influences\ diary\ ancestry\ archeology -- description of\ comparison with\ forensic\ archeology -- scientific methods|

Segment 04) Mike was involved with archeology at a time when radio-carbon dating technique was introduced. That technique was developed in the early 1950s. It is viewed reliable for determining age, and was a very important advancement.

archeology -- changes in\ advancement -- radio-carbon dating technique\ radio-carbon dating technique -- method\ description\ reliable\ important advancement\ archeology -- methods\ similar\ excavations -- procedures\ similar\ excavations -- purpose of\ waste flakes\ stratigraphy|

Segment 05) In the early years, archeology was a dilettante's pursuit. In the early 1970s, federal and state laws were enacted that required archeology surveying on projects that disturbed the surface, like the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). TAPS was the largest pipeline system in the world that transports oil. Alyeska (a consortium of oil companies with exploration rights) was created to design, build, and operate the pipeline. Alyeska contracted the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for the archeological work.

archeology -- opportunities\ archeology -- dilettante's pursuit\ archeology -- changes in\ federal laws -- archeological\ state laws -- archeological\ construction -- changes in\ archeological requirements\ surveying\ Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) -- largest pipeline system\ TAPS -- archeology\ Alyeska -- description\ Alyeska -- University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)\ archeology|

Segment 06) When new federal environmental laws were enacted, there was a need for professional archeologists. Companies first contracted with universities. Some universities developed a branch that provided archeological services. This led to the development of private archeological consulting firms. Today, probably more archeologists are employed by private companies than universities and government. Today, you can make a comfortable living where as the opportunities were much less in years past.

archeologists -- need for\ archeology -- changes in\ universities -- involved with\ contractor\ federal environmental laws -- effect of\ private archeological consulting firms -- development of\ employment\ archeology -- opportunities\ contractors\ employment|

Segment 07) Mike Kunz was a graduate student at Washington State University. His lab partner, Jeff Mauger, who received a Bachelors of Science Degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), shared similar interests. During the summer, Jeff worked for John Cook (Project Manager, UAF Professor) at the Healy Lake archeological site. Jeff contacted Mike to relocate to Alaska and work for John Cook in 1970.

Washington State University -- attended\ graduate\ lab partner -- Mauger, Jeff\ Mauger, Jeff -- Bachelors of Science Degree\ University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)\ summer\ employment\ Cook, John (Project Manager, UAF Professor) -- employer\ Healy Lake --archeological site\ Mauger, Jeff -- influence of\ Kunz, Mike -- relocation\ Alaska\ Cook, John|

Segment 08) In the winter of 1969-70, an exodus of machinery traveled north along the Hickel Highway from Livengood to the Yukon River (the Hickel Highway then routed toward Anaktuvuk Pass to Sagwon). From the Yukon River, construction camps were built along the proposed TAPS route. The first camp was Hess Creek -- midway between Livengood and the Yukon River. Next camps were at Five Mile, Prospect Creek, Dietrich River, Galbraith Lake, Toolik Lake, and Happy Valley. These were small preliminary camps with a capacity to house 30 people. At that time, Alyeska did not exist. Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) was managed by employees of major oil companies with exploration rights in the Prudhoe Bay field -- Exxon, Shell, ARCO, British Petroleum, and Texaco. The companies donated employees to oversee the development of TAPS. This process was not working for many reasons. In 1971 (1970), Alyeska was created, which made the various oil company employees represent one entity instead of their individual companies.

Hickel Highway -- history\ route -- description\ Livengood\ Yukon River\ Anaktuvuk Pass\ Sagwon\ Yukon River -- camps\ Haul Road -- TAPS route\ campsites -- construction\ campsites -- location\ Hess Creek\ Five Mile\ Prospect Creek\ Dietrich River\ Galbraith Lake\ Toolik Lake\ Happy Valley\ Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) -- description of \ ineffective\ Alyeska -- development of\ purpose|

Segment 09) Hickel Highway had no archeological work completed during the project. At that time, no regulation required archeological recognizance. Most of the land was federal. John Cook worked along the preliminary survey route of the TAPS Pipeline and the current Haul Road.

Hickel Highway -- no archeology\ archeological recognizance -- not required\ Cook, John -- archeologist\ project manager\ TAPS\ route -- TAPS\ Haul Road\ Hickel Highway -- pre--Haul Road\ Haul Road -- pre-TAPS\ purpose of|

Segment 10) By the time TAPS was constructed, there were regulations already in place. If contractors did everything mandated, they would not have been able to complete a project under existing funding. That is the same today as it was in the past. Someone decides which procedure to follow.There were a number of regulations that prescribed what was to be done. A decision was made by the federal government for the TAPS to follow all the environmental regulations that were in place, because it was the largest construction project in the world. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company knew that this project would be the crown jewel of a huge construction project, so wanted it to be environmentally sound.

TAPS -- federal environmental regulations\ federal environmental regulations -- changes in\ process\ TAPS -- regulated\ largest construction project\ publicity\ Alyeska Pipeline Service Company -- awareness of\ TAPS -- successful|

Segment 11) The Haul Road started from the Yukon River, then north to Prudhoe Bay over pristine virgin country. The only thing along the route was Coldfoot and some towns from the Klondike Gold Rush. None of these communities had road access, except for mining or trapping trails. The archeologists hired for TAPS archeology were looking at historic mining sites along the Haul Road corridor from Livengood to Prudhoe Bay. Only two towns, Wiseman and Coldfoot, were considered mining towns. Archeologists searched for other archeological and historic sites in the area. There were no burial grounds, nor permanent village sites, though they did find sites related to burial. The major concerns were to make sure archeological sites were not impacted, and to determine if the sites were eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. There were five supervisory archeologists, the UAF contractor for Alyeska, and a Project Manager (John Cook).

Haul Road -- route\ Yukon River\ Atigun Pass\ Prudhoe Bay\ Arctic -- pristine\ communities -- Coldfoot\ Wiseman\ communities -- remote\ no road access\ winter trails\ gold mine trails\ TAPS -- archeology\ archeology -- reasons for\ historic mining sites\ historic sites\ archeological -- findings\ descriptions of\ archeological sites -- concerns with\ National Register of Historic Places -- eligibility of \ archeological -- crew\ supervisory archeologists\ Alyeska -- UAF contractor\ Project Manager -- Cook, John|

Segment 12) Each supervisory archeologist had a section along the Haul Road. Dale Slaughter and Mike Kunz were responsible for the archeology between two sections, Sections 5 & 6, from Linda Creek to Prudhoe Bay. Seventy five percent of the archeological sites came from Sections 5 & 6. The supervisory archeologist decided which sites to excavate. Any site that had potential to provide datum was excavated. The mitigation technique was to excavate, even though regulations did not insist archeologists excavate to mitigate. The CZW (construction zone width) was the road and the pipeline, plus 150 feet on either side. Archeologists were concerned with those sites inside the CZW. These sites are now documented.

supervisory archeologists -- duties\ Haul Road -- sections\ supervisors -- names of\ Slaughter, Dale\ Kunz, Mike\ supervisors -- responsible for\ Section 5 & 6\ Linda Creek to Prudhoe Bay\ archeological sites -- evaluation of\ assessment\ excavation -- mitigated technique\ construction zone width (CZW) -- description\ CZW -- work area\ archeological\ TAPS archeology -- documented|

Segment 13) During construction, archaeological teams were repeatedly called in to investigate previously unknown sites that were disturbed or could be disturbed by construction. The archeological team could do this without slowing down the TAPS project - the building of the Haul Road and pipeline. Archeological teams collaborated with engineers and construction crews. Archeologists attended all the daily meetings, so were aware of the construction schedule and the dirt spread (the dumping dirt and building a road). At each camp location, dirt was spread in both directions of the Haul Road route. Construction campsites are hubs allowing crews to work in both directions. Crews are working toward each other. Archeologists would be out with the surveyors. They would know in advance if crews would be running into something that needed addressing - and before the construction crew arrived with the dirt spread. The only problem was when the construction crews ran into material sites that they could not use because they were archeologically significant.

TAPS -- collaborative\ archeological teams\ engineers\ construction\ collaborative\ meetings -- daily\ attendance of\ construction -- schedule\ dirt spread -- defined\ camp location\ Haul Road route\ construction -- campsites\ description\ acheologists -- surveyors\ collaboration\ material site -- archeological significance|

Segment 14) Archeologists started work in 1970. Then the TAPS project came to a halt later that year. The environmental and Alaskan Native community filed an injunction on the TAPS project in federal court. Until the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was resolved, the injunctions stayed in place. The lawsuit was resolved with the passage of ANCSA. The Alaska Native community had been trying to get a Native claims settlement act, so they saw this as an opportunity. There was also a petroleum crisis during this time. There was no construction from the summer of 1971 to the winter of 1974. TAPS archeological field activity started in the summer of 1974.

TAPS archeology -- start date\ TAPS project -- halting of\ injunction\ injunction -- reasons for\ TAPS project -- federal court\ Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)\ lawsuit -- resolution of\ ANCSA Act -- passage of\ petroleum -- crisis\ TAPS construction -- resumed\ year\ TAPS archeology -- restarted|

Segment 15) John Cook was in charge of the archeology for the TAPS project from Section 2 - 6, Isabelle Pass to Prudhoe Bay (contracted to University of Alaska Fairbanks). John Cook contacted individuals to be archeology supervisors. Mike Kunz was hired in March 1974. Dale Slaughter, Al Deacon, Ray Newell, and Mike Yarborough were some of the supervisors. Sections 2 - 4 had two supervisors, a field foreman, and excavators. Sections 5 -6 had one supervisor, a field foreman, and excavators. Each archeologist supervisor worked with Alyeska.

Cook, John -- Project Manager\ responsible for\ TAPS archeology\ TAPS -- sections 2 - 6\ Isabelle Pass to Prudhoe Bay\ University of Alaska Fairbanks -- archeology contractor\ archeologists -- recruitment of\ Kunz, Mike -- TAPS archeology\ employed with\ hiring date\ archeologists -- names of\ supervisors\ Slaughter, Dale\ Deacon, Al\ Newell, Ray\ Yarborough, Mike\ archeologist supervisor -- Alyeska official\ collaboration|

Segment 16) Mike Kunz was age 27 when he arrived in Alaska in 1970. At 31, he started work as an archeologist when the TAPS project began. He was thrilled at earning a decent income. This project provided good amenities. Housing and food were paid for by Alyeska. He was paid well on this project, and all income was deposited into the bank. Wages were $5.50 per hour back then, which was a lot of money 35 years ago.

Alaska -- relocation of\ arrival of -- year\ TAPS archeology -- employment\ age\ benefits -- decent\ income\ amenities\ housing -- paid for\ food -- paid for\ wages -- $5.50 per hour|

Tape 2 begins
Segment 17)
Supervisory archeologists are in charge of operations for the pipeline section. Mike Kunz worked directly with Alyeska to know the construction schedule. He surveyed what sites would be impacted and excavated.The field foreman or crew boss was in charge of actual excavation. Archeological crews performed the excavations. During the summer, he surveyed archeological sites ahead of construction crews for both summer and winter season, since the construction crews worked in the winter. Some times archeologists would do field work in the winter.

supervisory archeologists -- duties\ scheduling\ surveying\ logistics\ Kunz, Mike -- supervisor\ Alyeska -- collaboration\ field foreman (crew boss) -- duties\ coordinate excavations\ archeological crew -- duties\ excavations\ summer -- surveying\ survey -- archeological sites\ summer\ winter\ season|

Segment 18) During the winter season, the archeological team documented their findings. Because of how the construction work was proceeding, construction crews worked Sections 5 & 6 year around. The work schedule was 11 weeks on and 2 weeks off, 12 hours a day, and 7 days a week. Because of the TAPS project work schedule, some folks were exhausted. The TAPS project determined the baseline in how things are managed today. Mike comments, "You can't ask people to work that many hours and days without a break. So, today it is two weeks on and two weeks off." Mike shares a story of how the crew wrote in their journal about the experiences of being in the middle of nowhere. "If every dime was spent on crew morale (income, food, lodging, benefits), that is money well spent. Morale is the biggest thing. One thing you can't defeat (no matter the benefits) is not giving the crew a break."

archeological team -- findings\ documentation of\ schedule -- description\ 11 weeks on\ 2 weeks off\ 12 hours a day\ 7 days a week\ TAPS project -- intense\ heavy work loads\ TAPS project -- scheduling standards\ establishment of\ morale -- importance|

Segment 19) Archeological crews had a flexible schedule. They were not fixed to one campsite. The crew was mobile, seeing new country, hiking to unknown locations. They were not locked into a construction site, or cooking in the same spot, or mopping and cleaning rooms for 12 hours. Archeologists worked 12 hours, but the work called for exploration.

archeological crews -- flexible schedule\ mobile\ exploratory\ construction crews -- immobile\ stationary|

Segment 20) Archeological sites provide information, a cultural history, to answer a research question about a people, a place. Pioneering archeology was new in that area (along the Haul Road). There is now more research today then back then. Yet, no one has done much archeology in that area since TAPS. (Supervisors would be surveying for the next site, while the crew would be excavating the site just surveyed).

archeological sites -- purpose of\ information\ cultural history\ Haul Road -- unexplored\ pioneering archeology\ archeology -- changes in\ TAPS archeology -- largest project|

Segment 21) The results of TAPS archeology were that 300 sites were recorded within the CZW or on the material sites. Other sites were noted but not recorded because they weren't going to be impacted by the TAPS project.

TAPS archeology -- findings\ 300 sites -- recorded\ fieldwork -- CZW\ material sites|

Segment 22) Archeologists were finding artifacts in an arctic area that had never been reported. Found artifacts in the arctic area that were similar to artifacts in the coastal area. The reports provide a site by site definition, noting the physical location of a site that bears witness to human activity from many years ago and the information about how people lived.

artifacts -- findings\ comparisons\ Arctic -- coastal\ artifacts -- explanation\ human activity\ cultural information|

Segment 23) The first time he flew from the Galbraith Lake site to Fairbanks, he saw only lights in Wiseman and in Livengood. That is over 400 miles in the northern interior of the state. Today you can see lights. Back then, no lights. Because of that, Mike felt, "You are really out in the wilderness -- not like a Yellowstone National Park. Intriguing that there was nothing out there. Back then in the Lower-48, you could not find such a place". Mike was intrigued that some places still exist like that (remote and natural).

Galbraith Lake site -- first site\ story of\ transportation -- airplane\ Arctic -- impressions of\ travel -- 400 miles\ northern interior\ no lights\ remote\ natural|

Segment 24) There were no communications (no internet, no GPS, no phones, no radio). The daily work schedule was breakfast; ride a helicopter to site for surveying or excavating; and 12 hours later returned to camp. The Bel-205 Huey helicopter was transportation for the entire archeological crew. He rode in helicopters everyday; it was like a bus.

electronic communications -- not available\ schedule -- description\ breakfast\ helicopter transportation\ archeological site\ surveying\ excavating\ 12 hours\ returned to camp\ helicopter -- Bel-205 Huey\ helicopter -- transportation\ archeological crew|

Segment 25) Archeological teams had low turn-over. Archeologists are used to the outdoors. During the TAPS project, John Cook recruited over 400 archeologists. Galbraith Lake site had 70 people working on it. The outdoors is more rigorous in Alaska. Most of the archeological field crew were graduate students, with fieldwork experience.

archeological teams -- turn-over\ archeologists -- recruitment of\ number of\ Galbraith Lake site -- 70 archeologists\ Alaska -- rigorous\ archeologists -- requirements\ fieldwork experience\ wilderness experience|

Segment 26) Turnover rate was higher with the other trades, especially if the person was stuck in one location. "If you had to stay in the same camp site, like a cook, sewer treatment plant operator, carpenter, any crew that kept the camp site operation or airfield going, you did not go anywhere". This was one reason for the high turnover. Mike Kunz and Dale Slaughter were like celebrities because they stayed in the same barracks as the women. Women were not permitted to work in the construction camps. John Cook told Alyeska that they needed to prepare for women being out at the construction site, since he had recruited women archeologists. During road construction, campsites were small. TAPS employed 160 people at Galbraith Lake camp site. That same camp, when the pipeline was approved for construction, had over 1200 people. Barracks were 20 men units. When the archeological crew showed up, they put the men and women in one barrack. Once the unions heard the news of women archeologists, other trades recruited women. When the culinary union recruited women, they were housed with the archeologists.

trades -- turnover rate\ turnover rate -- higher\ turnover rate -- reasons for\ women -- story of\ TAPS -- refusal to hire women\ Cook, John -- hiring of\ women -- first to work TAPS\ campsites -- description of\ barracks -- male units\ archeologist crew -- shared barracks\ TAPS archeology -- hired women\ impact of\ influenced other trades\ women -- recruitment of|

Segment 27) Some of the archeology graduate students that were involved with the Haul Road have become well known archeologists, or have retired, or have become professors. All of the graduate students have looked back saying it was the best experience -- not life changing, but certainly a unique experience. Retrospectively, they might have felt they made history. The archeology program was 100% responsible for bringing women to the TAPS project. This opened the opportunity for women to be involved with other trades for the TAPS.

TAPS archeologists -- years later\ stories of\ professors\ archeologists\ retired\ contract archeologists\ Haul Road -- memories of\ TAPS project -- experience of\ historic\ archeology program -- responsible for\ women -- recruitment of\ TAPS\ TAPS archeology -- opportunity\ women|

Segment 28) Susan Will was a junior at college. She started working with John Cook in 1974. She had a lot of practical experience due to her family history. Mike Kunz was her boss during the TAPS project. Now Susan is his boss with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Back then, all undergraduate students had field experience. Today a student can get a Masters Degree and not have any field experience. Today, there are many subdivisions within archeology. In 1974 during the building of the Haul Road, a smaller archeological crew was recruited. Susan Will was a meticulous worker. In 1975, she became a crew foreman in charge of the excavations and logistics. When the Haul Road was completed in late September of 1974, teams could drive to the sites and camps.

Will, Susan -- TAPS archeologist\ college student\ Cook, John\ Kunz, Mike -- TAPS supervisor\ Will, Susan -- manager\ Bureau of Land Management (BLM)\ archeology -- changes in\ students -- field experience\ Will, Susan -- TAPS archeological field crew\ crew foreman\ meticulous\ Haul Road -- completion date|

Segment 29) The person in charge of the carpenter's shop expressed to Mike "how much of a drag it is to be stuck at the camp". Said he would like to see the area and take pictures. Dale and Mike had helicopters specifically assigned for their archeological work. Alyeska had the money to expedite the TAPS project, therefore, wanted to be sure there was available helicopter transportation. The archeologists' helicopter contracts guaranteed them 80 hours per month of transportation time (even if they only used 20 hours). The archeology crew used 40 hours per month. Dale and Mike asked someone from Alyeska if their remaining 40 hours of flight time could be used to fly campsite crews around the area (if the pilot agreed). What resulted for Dale and Mike was full cooperation from the other trades, which was not their intent. Dale and Mike did not anticipate the return cooperation, which was especially helpful during the wintertime when they needed to fabricate their gear to work in the winter season.

helicopter -- story of\ archeological crew -- mobile\ helicopter -- transportation\ construction crew -- stationary\ archeological crew -- helicopter tours\ tours -- construction crews\ favorable\ morale -- improved\ construction crews -- appreciation of|

Segment 30) The archeological crews tried to stay ahead of the construction plans. Sometimes their plans changed due to the route being changed, or they would have to travel out of the CZW area. Usually before the winter season, the sites were recorded or marked before the archeological crews left. If the route changed during the winter season, the archeological crews returned to work to excavate the site. The archeological crew developed a method for thawing the frozen ground. They cut the top half off a fifty gallon drum, and cut a hole. They used a propane weed burner and blew heat into the hole. The top of the drum would contain the heat, which thaws the ground. This required a lot of propane. They excavated this way only during the winter.

archeological crews -- construction plans\ CZW area\ sites -- recorded\ marked\ excavated\ winter -- methods\ methods -- development of\ description of\ ground -- thawing|

Segment 31) Why are villages located where they are in Alaska? Seasons in Alaska are dramatic, so people had a seasonal round (travel-migration). During spring, people had a camp location for spring resources. During summer, people had a camp location for summer resources. People migrated seasonally. People had spring caribou camps, summer waterfowl camps, fall fish camps, and late fall caribou camps. Seasonal locations provided subsistence to survive during the year (especially winter). Reasons most villages exist today were due to white men arriving in Alaska, particularly the missionaries and teachers. Wherever the Alaskan Natives were camped at the time, the missionaries or teachers settled there, which is where the village ended up. Natives wanted to get supplies and education. Villages were located where the trading was better.

aboriginal Alaskan -- seasonal (travel-migration)\ spring camp -- spring resources\ summer camp -- summer resources\ spring resources -- description\ caribou\ summer resources -- water fowl\ fall resources -- fish\ caribou\ winter locations -- place to live\ seasonal locations -- subsistence\ Alaskan Native villages -- formation of\ effect of\ villages -- locations of\ trading posts\ not reflective of the culture\ villages -- influence of trading\ white man|

Segment 32) Villages may not have an archeological or physical history, but do have a history as a seasonal camp. Tanacross village formed around a trading post. Most of the villages started in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The archeological findings along the Haul Road did not really contribute to the history of a village. What the archeological findings along the Haul Road did contribute is a picture of a cultural history of an area of Alaska that was previously poorly known.

villages -- limited pre-history\ seasonal camp\ Tanacross village -- trading post\ villages -- formation of\ late 1800s\ Haul Road -- archeological findings\ results of\ Coldfoot\ Wiseman\ Haul Road -- contributions\ cultural history|

Segment 33) Archeologists knew that Eskimos traveled south, and Indians traveled north. They lived in this vast area. Therefore, along the Haul Road, the archeology is just an archeological slice. Archeology discovered that the Eskimo continuum of cultures lived in this area, because there is this geographical slice right through the northern interior of Alaska where nothing had been researched before. There were past assumptions about the area, but now archeologists can say who lived in this area, and paint a bigger picture of the cultural history from 12,000 years ago until the present time.

Haul Road -- archeological slice\ archeology -- findings\ arctic region\ cultures\ history -- understanding\ history -- broader\ cultural history|

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