The Real Peoples of Alaska have stories past down telling of migrations when distant ancestors on a continent to the west fled before the onslaughts of more warlike tribes to the safety of "Al-ay-ek-sa," the Great Land. There they discovered the "Kwikpak," or "mighty river," the ancient name of the Yukon River. To the Real People the Kwikpak was not just the mighty river, it was the river of all rivers; the essential thread holding the world together; heaven was at its headwaters, all humanity along its course, and where the river ended so did the earth. Additional knowledge is being discovered about the Real People of Alaska their life ways and technology of these early peoples. We do know that the ancestral Peoples followed the spawning salmon into the Interior, lived with the seasonal migration patterns of the caribou herds, and learned the habits of the moose, bear, furbearing animals, and waterfowl.
There major archaeological sites in the Yukon Region, the Campus Site, on a hill overlooking the Chena River near the university at Fairbanks, the lower Koyukuk drainage, south of Huslia, at Donnelly Dome, Tangle Lakes, Teklanika River in the eastern part of Mt. McKinley (Denali) Park, and at Healy Lake. The Healy Lake site has been radiocarbon dated to 11,000 years Before Present (BP) and is the oldest known site in Alaska. Several others have been located along the lower and central Yukon River, the trans-Alaska pipeline corridor, the lower Tanana, Kantishna, and Tolovana Rivers, and at Lake Minchumina.
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