Tag Archives: kodiak island

The Wreck of the Kad’yak

Cannon from the Kadyak on the seafloor near Kodiak Island. Source: Archaeology Magazine.

Off Alaska’s Kodiak Island lie the remains of the Russian-American Company ship Kad’yak, which sank in 1860.  The wreck of this Barque was rediscovered in 2003, as this first-hand account documents.  (It is full of the usual intrigue between divers and dirters and is rich with interesting links about the discovery).  Almost immediately, an underwater archaeological research project was formed, participants included people from the Kodiak Maritime Museum, the Baranov Museum, the Alutiiq Museum, the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service in Kodiak, and East Carolina University.  This was the first underwater archaeology project in Alaska, and it is ably documented by the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology.

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Crafting an Antler Harpoon Point

Amy Margaris has a nice video online showing the making of a replica barbed bone point, typical of ones used by the Alutiiq People of Alaska’s Kodiak archipelago.  There are lots of flint knapping videos on the web but this is one of the only bone/antler ones I have come across, at least for this area. Shethen  illustrates the different properties of organic materials by hurling them from buildings, which is a nice touch. Following Dr Margaris’ links takes us to the Alutiiq Museum website, which is a very well done set of pages, informative and up to date, covering everything from collections management to repatriation and reburial to mini-reports on digs such as the well-illustrated one at Horseshoe Bay.  My only complaint is, Alutiiq web site folks: don’t bother with the little flash gizmo to make the pictures pop up, they are annoying. They are doubly annoying when the pop-up picture is no bigger than the thumbnail!  What is wrong with people putting these tiny thumbnails up and restricting access to anything finer — you are selling your own research short and making it less likely your website will be visited via links.  If it goes on the web, it is implicit you want people to know, so can the obfuscation and speak in your very best voice!