In late 1812 or early 1813, the London-built, Russian-owned frigate Neva foundered on rocks somewhere near Sitka Sound, in Tlingit territory on Baranof or Kruzof Islands, SE Alaska, (map). The Neva was a prominent ship of Russian colonial Alaska having, for example, taken part in the 1804 Battle of Sitka as well as making multiple round trips during the maritime fur trade hauling sea otter pelts to Chinese and Russian ports. The actual wreck site has never been found. However, in 2012 archaeologists led by Dave McMahon and the Sitka Historical Society found a small historical-era site which they thought might be where the 28 survivors of the wreck sheltered for a month before being rescued in January 1813. An intriguing and suggestive find in 2012 was an apparent cache of Russian made axeheads (above), suggesting further work was called for. In 2015, a fuller excavation took place finding a remarkable assemblage “focused on survival”, not at all typical of early historic settlement sites. So, while there is no smoking gun yet, such as crockery with the Neva’s monogram, there are plenty of indicators that this site is where the survivors sheltered in the not-entirely benign Alaskan winter while awaiting a rescue that might never come.
Join 817 other subscribers
qmackie on Lasqueti Island Archaeology Christal Knight on McLennan & McFeely 1908-19… Richard Bryant on Millennia Research’s min… Richard Bryant on Millennia Research’s min… Eric Allin on Lasqueti Island Archaeology The Stone Cottage… on The Bison at Ayer Pond on Orca… 11 Extinct Foods Fro… on The Bison at Ayer Pond on Orca… Jeffrey Coley on La Brea Woman: Image Cont… Lois on D’Suq’Wub: Old Man House… Mark Pracy on Maori Canoe found in New Zeala… Amber on La Brea Woman: Image Cont… Carlo Raineri on Florida Mammoth Engraving is… David Mattison on Tree Cache 3030win on Haida, Argillite, and the Pig… 11 Extinct Foods Fro… on The Bison at Ayer Pond on Orca…
Most viewed posts in last few days
- Manis Mastodon: a 13,800 year old Archaeological Site on the Northwest Coast
- Aboriginal Bridges of Northwestern B.C.
- La Brea Woman: Image Controversy
- Tree Burials at Tsaxis
- Haida Gwaii, 1787
- La Perouse at Port des Francais (Lituya Bay)
- Anchor Stones
- Glenrose Cannery Under Threat?
- ASBC Victoria: September Public Lecture - Isabelle Maurice-Hammond on Coast Salish Root Gardens
- Convictions in Yakima Looting Case, with comments on B.C.
- alaska anthropology Archaeological Society of BC Archaeological Society of British Columbia Archaeology archives argillite art artifacts ASBC british columbia canoes clovis CMT Coast Salish conservation CRM Cultural Resource Management Esquimalt ethnohistory First Nations first peopling fish fishing fish traps fish weirs Fraser River Gulf Islands Haida Haida Gwaii Heiltsuk historical archaeology history household archaeology Intertidal Kilgii Gwaay Makah maps museums Northwest Coast Nuu-chah-nulth Oregon organic technology palaeoenvironment palaeontology petroglyphs pictographs pleistocene pre-clovis Public Archaeology Puget Sound RBCM repatriation rock art Royal BC Museum Salish Salish Sea salmon sculpture Seattle SFU Songhees southeast alaska Straits Salish tlingit ubc underwater archaeology uvic Vancouver Vancouver Island Victoria BC Washington State waterlogged sites wet sites zooarchaeology