On the border between Yukon and Alaska, Jen and Jacob get acquainted with camp life at Little John and participate in their first Wild Archaeology dig, while Dr. Rudy offers his scientific XRF prowess. But they are all surprised to witness the unique relationship between lead archaeologist, Norm Easton, and the Dene people of White River Nation, whose ancestors have occupied the region for over 12,000 years.
W.A. Hosts Histories
Honouring Native Identity
“I’m really happy to hear that Norm has the community with him doing this; they’ve got his back — they’re his family.”
– Jenifer Brousseau
Measuring the Past
Scientific Archaeology depends on data and a”total station” is a great way to collect it. Total stations combine a sophisticated on-board computer, display, traditional theodolite and transit measuring system together with ultra-sensitive laser technology. It allows archaeologists to record points in 3D space to reconstruct the relationship between material in the ground.
Hunting the Giants of Beringia
The Atlatl spear-thrower was used in the Pleistocene to help man kill prey much larger, faster and stronger than himself. Providing leverage when throwing, it transforms a simple spear or javelin into a projectile that can travel up to 150km/hr compared to 80-100km/hr and much farther. Examples of this ancient technology can be found all over the world across cultures.
“Being able to spend time with the people that have lived on this land for 12,000 years is an awesome thing.”
– Jacob Pratt
In the Tanacross language, “Chindadn” means ancestor. These tear-drop-shaped projectile points found at the Beaver Creek site are dated from 12,000 to 14,000 years old. Potentially the oldest yet found in Canada, they may also predate those found at the Tanada and Nenana Valley sites in Alaska. Chindadn points occur before the “micro-blade” technology we investigated in our Alpine Archaeology adventures of Episode 1. From Beaver Creek, Wild Archaeology travels east across the rim of the Arctic Ocean, and south to dive under the Great Lakes.