BELA Archaeological Overview and Assessment

What are your priorities for future archaeological research and cultural resources management in the BELA region?

The archaeological record, local knowledge, and oral history tells us about: where people lived; the foods they collected, processed, cooked and ate;  the social networks people maintained; and how all of those resources and experiences changed over millennia. Archaeologists have researched these topics individually, using many different methods and reaching many different conclusions. Now we are bringing together archaeological and environmental data from all the previous archaeological projects to produce the first archaeological overview and assessment for the Bering Land Bridge National Monument (BELA) in 40 years. 

We want to hear from you! Without voices from your community, we can only see part of the picture of life in the past.

An archaeological assessment is a report that helps guide other scientists when they’re writing their reports, and also helps agencies understand their responsibilities to the archaeological record.

The best archaeological assessments include local knowledge, especially Indigenous knowledge. It is crucial to include community voices in archaeological assessments because of how they help inform future studies.

This assessment will:

  • Provide an up-to-date overview and assessment of cultural resources throughout the park that will help to inform future management of archaeological resources.
  • Include a review and summary of environmental, climate, and vegetation change throughout the Holocene to help better understand the environments where people lived.
  • Review known archaeological sites and archaeological data from the area, which will allow us to identify gaps in knowledge and make recommendations for future research that will be better able to answer questions relevant to both community and scientific interests.
What we hope to hear from you:

We know that coming up with ideas about archaeology in the Bering Landbridge National Park off the top of your head is challenging, so we have some questions to inspire you, but you’re not limited to the questions we are asking:

  • What are your expectations for archaeological research?
  • Do you or your community have priorities for archaeological research?
  • Are there archaeological sites or important places on the landscape that are of particular concern or interest that you would like us to focus on?
  • Are there archaeological sites or important places on the landscape that you would like us to avoid or recommend that archaeologists not visit?
  • Are there questions you or your community has about the past that archaeology can help you answer?
Who Are We?

Our group has worked in this region for 15 years and includes archaeologists with different approaches and backgrounds:

You can learn more about Dr. Shelby Anderson by clicking the button below:

Thomas J. Brown (M.A.) works as an archaeologist for Willamette Cultural Resource Associates, a research associate/adjunct faculty at Portland State University and is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. His research interests broadly include chronological modelling, demography, settlement/mobility patterns, and labor organization within indigenous societies of the Pacific Northwest of North America and Northwest Alaska.

Use the form below to tell us what you hope to see in our assessment: