Location: Fairbanks, AK, USA
Season: May 20, 2024 to June 28, 2024
Session Dates: M-F 9am-4pm
Application Deadline: April 1, 2024
Deadline Type: Exact Date
This project is an RPA certified field school
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Founded in 1902 on the north bank of the Tanana River, The Chena Townsite was a bustling goldrush town home to thousands of miners and settlers that flocked to the region in search of prosperity. Chena rivaled its close neighbor Fairbanks as the commercial center of mining operations in the Alaska Interior. The rivalry lasted only a few short decades, however, before Fairbanks emerged victorious. Chena became a ghost town by 1920 and was all but forgotten. Little remains of the once thriving town. In the past two decades however, archaeologists have
mapped, surveyed, and begun to excavate parts of Chena in hopes of better understanding its birth and abandonment. This year we will continue this research by conducting archaeological survey and excavations at the site where Chena once stood.
The Chena Townsite is located just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Students will live in their own accommodations and report to the site daily. Students will provide their own lunches, but all tools and equipment will be provided. Participants will learn the fundamental skills of archaeological fieldwork while excavating and documenting historic structures and artifacts. They will examine artifacts, botanicals, sediments, and faunal materials to learn analytical techniques while providing insight into the lives of the traders, miners, and other members of this short-lived historic community.
Period(s) of Occupation: Historic, Euro-American, 1900-1930.
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Six Weeks
Experience Required: No field experience is required, but an introductory archaeology course is recommended.
Room and Board Arrangements:
The Chena Townsite is located just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Students will live in their own accommodations. The cost of accommodations is not included in the cost of the field school. Most students choose to live on the UAF campus in student housing. We provide transportation between the UAF campus and the field site each day. Students will provide their own lunches, but all tools and equipment will be provided.
6 credits through the University of Alaska Fairbanks
The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.