780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Interior Alaska Dig Reveals Previously Unknown “Ancient Beringian” Peoples

An artist's rendering of the Upward Sun River camp at the time of the "Ancient Beringians" (Photo: University of Alaska Fairbanks, used with permission)

New archaeological evidence from a dig site in the Interior has revealed a previously unknown population of ancient people in North America.

Genetic analysis of DNA from the remains of a six-month-old infant indicate that a single founding ancestral Native American group split from East Asians about 35,000 years ago. Then, around 20,000 years ago, that group split again, between what the researchers are calling the “Ancient Beringians,” and the ancestors of all other Native Americans.

The infant was found at the Upward River Sun site in the Tanana River Valley by a group based at the University of Alaska–Fairbanks.

The lead researcher, Ben Potter, says, “It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this newly revealed people to our understanding of how ancient populations came to inhabit the Americas.”

He says surprisingly, the genetic material from the infant didn’t match any other known ancient population. That suggests the Ancient Beringians stayed in the Far North for thousands of years while other Native American peoples spread south. Then, likely around 6,000 years ago, Athabascan ancestors returned to the north, absorbing or replacing the Ancient Beringians.

Image at top: An artist’s rendering of the Upward Sun River camp at the time of the “Ancient Beringians” (Photo: University of Alaska–Fairbanks, used with permission.)

Share this story


Recent Posts

Alaska Airlines Announces Upgrades Coming to Nome Airport

Alaska Airlines has unveiled a $60 million investment plan aimed at upgrading terminals and other facilities across the state. The initiative is part of the airline’s “Great Land Investment Plan” first launched in 2016. Upgrades to the airline’s 13 owned stations, including the Nome Airport, are included in the next

Read More »

Nome Swimming Pool Reopens After Major Renovations

The Nome Swimming Pool has reopened after extensive renovations to the water system. Originally built through grassroots fundraising efforts in the early 1980s, the pool has served as a gathering place for competitive and recreational swimmers alike. Melissa Ford serves as the Head Lifeguard of the facility and has worked

Read More »



Christmas 2023

Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.