This image of the Alaska coastline from January shows how little snow the area has gotten, which is unusual.

Saving An Ancient Yup’ik Village From the Effects of Climate Change

Rick Kearns

Archaeologists and a Yup’ik community in western Alaska received a major grant to help them save an ancient settlement that is falling into the sea. Climate Change is causing the coastline to erode.

The Arts and Humanities Council of the United Kingdom provided a £1.1million research grant to the archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen who have been working with local residents on the project for four years.

According to a university press statement the grant will not only keep the dig going for another four years, but also fund local archaeological education and training initiatives and a regional survey to find more sites under threat.

This was the artifact of the day from August 21, 2013. It’s a harpoon toggle shaped like a seal. (

“The grant is fantastic and will go a long way, but even with it, none of this would have been possible without the support and hard work of the Yup’ik people,” said Dr. Rick Knecht, project leader and archaeologist from the Scottish University of Aberdeen.

The project began in 2009 after Yup’ik residents from the village of Quinhagak called on the university to help them save their coastline that was being washed away by rising sea levels, as has been noted by many scientific institutions.


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