Cultural Resources Analysis Results
Laboratory analysis and interpretation of the material collected during the GCI TERRA fiber optic cable installation in 2013 and 2015 was completed by Northern Land Use Research Alaska. Artifacts are now stored in perpetuity at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum of the North.
Analysis of artifacts indicates that the material comes from two previously identified sites, KTZ-00386 and KTZ-00347.
Carbon (14C) dating was conducted on one piece of modified bone from each site. The calibrated date for site KTZ-00386 is AD 1210-1275 (about 806 years old), and site KTZ-00347 is AD 1260-1295 (about 756 years old).
Based on the artifact analysis and C14 dating, archaeologists have determined that material collected during GCI TERRA fiber optic cable installation is associated with the Thule culture*, the ancestors of modern Inuit.
*The Western Thule culture comes from part of the widespread Thule culture that is clearly ancestral to the present-day Iñupiat people. Subsistence was broad-based, with both interior and coastal species. Along the coastal areas, whaling became especially important; late prehistoric coastal material culture shows a well-developed and complex technology based on harpooning whales from skin boats. For more reading, see Dennis J Stanford’s 1976 The Walakpa Site, Alaska: Its Place in the Birnirk and Thule Cultures. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology 20. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (1976).