Skip to page content

A Journey to a New Land

Post secondary Level Resources

Mesa Site

Located on a mesa north of the Brooks mountain range in Alaska, the Mesa Site has been characterized as an ideal hunting lookout because it has a 360° view of the surrounding region.

Excavations at the site over several years revealed more than 150 flaked stone tools and at least 15 hearths, dating to 11,700 – 9,700 years BP. The majority of tools recovered from the site are lanceolate projectile points, similar in style and manufacture to those of the Agate Basin Complex in the North American High Plains. These projectile points have been attributed to a unique lithic technology known as a Mesa point.

The Mesa site assemblage, as well as the site’s unique location, indicates that it was probably used intermittently as a hunting lookout. Hunters may have gathered around the fire, repairing old tools and making new ones, as they watched the landscape for herds of antelope, bison or woolly mammoth. The hunters’ campsite was probably located below the mesa, close to sources of water and firewood along the banks of nearby Iteriak Creek.

Mesa Site

Further Reading:

Kunz, Michael L. and Richard E. Reanier
1995. The Mesa Site: a Paleoindian hunting lookout in Arctic Alaska. Arctic Anthropology32(1): 5-30.