Teklanika West (HEA-001): An Upland Archaeological Site, Central Alaska.

This thesis research involved a re-investigation of the Teklanika West (HEA-001) archaeological site, central Alaska. It focused on understanding site formation processes, identifying, dating, characterizing components, evaluating technological variability, and inferring site activities. Post field-research analyses were designed to address the preceding research purposes while inter-relating research objectives. Twelve and one quarter square meters were excavated within five blocks located across the site. These excavation blocks yielded dateable materials in clear association with chipped-stone technology. Both environmental and cultural data obtained at the site have produced a more complex understanding of the site and surrounding landscape. Multiple components ranging in age from the late Pleistocene through late Holocene are represented at the site. Lithic analyses indicate a wide variety of lithic reduction occurring within components, ranging from biface production to late-stage weapons maintenance. Faunal associated with each cultural component include the remains of sheep, caribou, small mammals, and bison. These data indicate that the upper Teklanika River valley was deglaciated by late Pleistocene/early Holocene times, allowing human access to animals, 
new travel routes, and raw material resources. All these data have profound implications for better understanding upland land use among prehistoric hunter-gathers in central Alaska.
Funding for this project came from a CESU between Denail NP&P and UAF. Additional funding came from the Otto Geist Fund at the UA Museum of the North and from the Murie Science and Learning Center.