First prehistoric engraved clay disks found in Alaska

Archaeologists documenting unusual petroglyphs in the Noatak National Preserve in Northwest Alaska have discovered four prehistoric engraved clay disks that are the first such artifacts ever found in Alaska.

Rock art of any kind is rare in Interior and Northern Alaska. The Noatak petroglyphs are engraved on the foundation stones of prehistoric house pits on the shore of Feniak Lake. Archaeologists found them 40 years ago but then left them undocumented. This summer, a multidisciplinary team of artists and archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum of the North and the National Park Service went to Noatak to sketch and trace all the petroglyphs on site.

During small-scale excavations in the shallow depressions that mark the remains of prehistoric dwellings, Scott Shirar, a research archaeologist with the UA museum of the North, and his colleagues made an exciting discovery. They found four clay disks decorated with lines, grooves and perforations.

“The first one looks like a little stone that had some scratch marks on it,” Shirar said. “We got really excited when we found the second one with the drilled hole and the more complicated etchings on it. That’s when we realized we had something unique.”

After collaborating with experts and looking up examples in the archaeological record, Shirar said the disks appear to be a new artifact type for Alaska. “We only opened up a really small amount of ground at the site, so the fact that we found four of these artifacts indicates there are probably more and that something really significant is happening.”

The disks have yet to be dated officially. They are at the University of Alaska Museum of the North where they will be analyzed and studied further. Preliminary dating based on the features of the ancient dwellings and other observable data suggests the settlement and clay disks date to the late prehistoric era, approximately a thousand years ago. Radiocarbon dating on organic matter recovered during the excavation will provide more detail.

Feniak Lake is about 100 miles northeast of the Inupiat Eskimo community of Kotzebue. Despite the Arctic climate, the location has been populated for 11,000 years, which means people settled there in the first immigrant wave to cross the Bering land bridge between 16,000 and 10,000 B.C.


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Comment by Ghulam
2011-09-12 22:52:40

When something like this was found on a dig in the Middle East they used to call them “loom weights.” There may not be a cultural connection, but form does often follow function.

Comment by Paul Krautter
2011-09-19 16:10:51

Doesn’t look like Rembrandt to me. He used curved lines to block in his figures, not straight as in this drawing.

Comment by Richard Hansen
2011-10-03 00:15:23

You bring up Roman history but there’s much more to Roman history than this you show. The Romans started the church. Led people from God and not to him. Matthew 16 shows Jesus telling the disciples to take up their crosses and follow him. Some do and dies with him. Some don’t. Those that don’t become servants of Satan. Of Rome. Matthew shows. Jesus said Satan get behind me to Peter for he knew he would serve Satan Matthew shows. In Peter 10 Peter shows what he hungered for and became the servant of Satan for. Meat. Jesus was a vegetatarian. As was Peter before the death of Jesus. Jesus said bread was his meat. Multiplied the bread to feed the thousands and not the fish. Although he filled the fisherman’s net he took them away from fishing afterwards. Until he had risen there is no mention of him eating fish or meat. After his death a Roman devil takes his places,fines the disciples with meat, and eats it with them. Matthew went out of the way to show this was a lie by saying the saints rose up out of their graves and walked down the road to the city when Jesus died. Jesus never gave new bodies but the Romans stole his body and made out that this Roman devil of theirs was Jesus. He was the first devil Jesus warned us about who would claim to be Jesus when he wasn’t. Jesus only healed bodies. When he raised the dead they still had their rotting flesh. Not a new body. They murdered Jesus and used him to get the people going their way. Meat was suddenly no longer unclean. The Roman devils had Peter proclaiming that God had made it clean. So he could eat it he did. He lied. Thus prayer is given at the supper table and the food gets blessed. Devils don’t have God talking to them. Peter was a devil. As Jesus said Satan get behind me. Adam and Eve were vegetarian. No meat was eaten in the Garden of Eden. Cain killed Abel because God favored his vegetables over Cain’s meat. Peter lived in Rome. The devil was their slave. But he did accidently show us that he didn’t eat meat until the death of Jesus which shows that Jesus and the other disciples didn’t either until Jesus died. Jews killed and ate meat. So did Romans. Jesus didn’t. He was Persian. Persians were peaceful back then. Nor did they eat meat. Their religion didn’t allow it. That’s why Peter lived all of his life up til then not eating meat. He was Persian also. The books of the bible are not gospel. They are just books. Two deciples had mary seeing one angel (Roman) whilst 2 others had her seeing two angels ( Romans). A book of lies and contradictions cannot be gospel. Only a part of history. History that was written at different places and different time periods by Jewish and Roman devils. Not by Christ or God. David the liar and murderer couldn’t even build a church in God’s name for God wouldn’t allow him to. Solomon the unwise did out of ego and had to give a town to another ruler to cover part of the debt he build up in doing so. Thus when you speak of church history you should speak of servants of Satan who Jesus has cursed to eternal hell for following the doctrines of the man, The church. Jesus was anti-church and government. As he said he was the the church and God was the master. Nuff said.

Comment by livius drusus
2011-10-03 02:05:05

What are you talking about and why did you post it here?

Comment by MiKE M
2014-04-26 11:16:52

:lol: I read like the first ten lines of that drivel by Richard Hansen, and suddenly became very confused. What. The. Living. Hell!?

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