Rural Alaska

Photos: Nunalleq archaeological site

QUINHAGAK -- On the eroding Bering Sea coast of far Western Alaska, archaeologists from around the world are unearthing remnants of an ancient Yup'ik village frozen in place for hundreds of years.

Archaeologists involved say it's the biggest excavation of Yup'ik artifacts from before the arrival of Russians and other Europeans in the early 1800s. The research is taking place in this remote Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village as well as labs in Europe, Canada and the United States. A leading anthropologist last week sat down with elders to see what they can tell about the finds, from stories passed down over generations.

In a region where tradition says old treasures should remain undisturbed, the Yup'ik people of Quinhagak invited the archaeologists in.

Read more: Archaeologists rush to save ancient Yup’ik treasures threatened by melting permafrost