A wooden doll covered in red ochre is pulled from an unearthed sod house near Quinhagak, Alaska. The dig site, called Nunalleq, meaning ‘old village’ in Yup’ik, dates back to 1540. Archeologists and volunteers find hundreds of artifacts every day during the short digging season each Summer.
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The Nunalleq dig site is located just off the beach on the Bering Sea Coast near Quinhagak. A portion of the site has already eroded into the sea. Every year erosion is a bigger threat as the warming climate increases storm surges.
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Archeology student Lauren Phillips cleans a wooden doll found at the Nunalleq site near Quinhagak on July 24, 2018.
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John Smith remembers visiting his Grandfather in the qasgiq, a traditional Yup’ik men’s house, when he was a small child living in Hooper Bay. John moved to Quinhagak in the 1970s and now his knowledge of traditional Yup’ik life is a huge asset to the Nunalleq project. When the archeologists are confused about an artifact they turn to him for help in identifying its original purpose. John also uses the artifacts as inspiration for his own ivory carving.
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Warren Jones, CEO of Qanirtuuq Inc. on July 25, 2018.
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Dr. Rick Knecht discovers an amber bead while digging at the Nunalleq site on July 24, 2018. While the archeologists have found amber beads at the site previously, it is a rare find.
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Dr. Rick Knecht stands at the Nunalleq dig site on July 24, 2018.
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Dr. Rick Knecht shows off the amber bead he found to archeology students, Lauren Phillips and Amanda Mina at the Nunalleq dig site on July 24, 2018.
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Grace Hill, President of the Qanirtuuq Inc. board on July 24, 2018.
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The Ahklun Mountains as seen from the Nunalleq dig site near Quinhagak on July 24, 2018
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A traditional Yup’ik cutting utensil called an uluaq, found at the Nunalleq dig site, sits in the lab in Quinhagak, Alaska.
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Warren Jones and Grace Hill of Qanirtuuq Incorporated cut the ribbon at the opening of the Nunalleq Culture and Archaeology Center in Quinhagak on Saturday, August 11, 2018. The center will hold 60,000 artifacts found at the nearby Nunalleq archeological site, the largest collection of pre-contact Yup'ik artifacts in the world. Also pictured: Annie Wassilie and Jamie Small.
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Elder Pauline Beebe is among the first to enter the Nunalleq Culture and Archaeology Center in Quinhagak on Saturday, August 11, 2018