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Protecting cultural artifacts: Archaeology’s role in building projects

November 01, 2023

Stantec archaeologist Gilbert Browning talks to Alaska Business magazine about the increasing role of cultural resources management

While working on the Sterling Highway in 2021, contractors unearthed evidence of Dena’ina homes. The find included cache pits, animal remains, cutting tools, and a ground slate point arrowhead. On the Chiniak Highway in Kodiak, an ancestral Alutiiq settlement approximately 350 years old was discovered. And in advance of an expansion project at Fort Wainwright, archaeologists documented campsites at McDonald Creek that range from 6,000 to 14,000 years old, including stone tools and the remains of extinct mammoths.

Because of finds like these, companies involved in excavation are encouraged, and sometimes required, to work with archaeological experts to preserve cultural resources.

“We’re not here to use bullwhips, steal artifacts, or punch Nazis,” says Gilbert Browning with a laugh. “We’re here to do right by tribes and Native groups and to keep the ball rolling with regards to development and progress and new technologies.”

Read the full article in Alaska Business.

  • Gilbert Browning

    Passionate about gaining exposure to diverse communities, Gilbert is an archaeologist and cultural resources regulatory group lead focused on projects in the western United States.

    Contact Gilbert
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