News & Events

October 19th, 2006

Discovery of ancient human remains sparks partnership, documentary

James Dixon helped discover 10,300-year-old human remains in southeast Alaska in 1996 that have provided new insights into the lives of ancient people and helped cement a partnership between local tribes and scientists. Dixon was a lead researcher who studied the bones, the earliest human skeletal remains ever found in Alaska or Canada. In the project's early days, Dixon recognized the significance of the cooperation between the Tlingit and Haida tribes, scientists and government officials. The successful partnership and the knowledge gained from the ancient bones and artifacts found in the cave are explored in a new 30-minute documentary titled Kuwóot yas.éin--His Spirit Is Looking Out From the Cave. The documentary was released on video this summer by the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, Alaska, in collaboration with the Tongass National Forest, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the National Park Service. It was funded in part by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.