Loukas Barton, Asst. Professor @ Pitt

February 27, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Friday, February 27th at 1:00 pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH

Loukas Barton

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Wildman Lake and the Veniaminof volcano: the archaeology of human settlement in remote Alaska

An informal presentation sponsored by the Anthropology Club


During a helicopter survey in 2012 my team and I discovered what looks to be the largest known prehistoric village in southwest Alaska. Subsequent investigation revealed a discontinuous area covering about 30 hectares (74 acres) containing the remains of as many as 500 houses and perhaps more than 1,000 other features (like storage units).  Architectural shapes and artifact styles (recovered through test excavations) suggest cultural connections with different areas around southwest Alaska at different times, and the radiocarbon chronology points to at least 3 different periods of occupation. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Wildman Lake Village is that it sits immediately downslope of a very large (and currently active) volcano which erupted in a major way about 4,000 years ago. At this point, it's hard to say what happened to the people who lived there at the time, but it looks that people did live there soon after the eruption. However, it also seems that several other major eruptions (from even larger volcanoes, not that far away) forced people away, and for hundreds of years. I'd like to introduce you to Wildman Lake and the surrounding region, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on the prospect of volcanic disaster!  I'd also like to discuss some of my plans for a more thorough investigation of the site in the coming years.


Location and Address

Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH