Tag Archives: SCUBA

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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Fieldwork Picture of the Day 6

Parks Canada Underwater Archaeologist at Section Cove, 2006

Parks Canada Underwater Archaeologist at Section Cove, 2006

Parks Canada has a great underwater archaeology unit.  They have been coming out to dive on targets we’ve identified on the drowned terrestrial landscape of Haida Gwaii.  This picture shows an archaeologist with a suction hose on the bottom near (though, sadly, not on) the target we identified at the outlet of the lake that formerly sat in Section Cove, near Huxley Island. This target is at about 33 metres below the surface, while the diver here is at about 27 metres down, so on a small bump above ancient landform of interest – not a place with zero potential, but not a huge amount either, we don’t think. The hose sucked out the bottom sediments into a mesh bag which could then be lifted by crane onboard the mother ship, and screened on deck.  Therefore, it was not really a lift hose, but the system worked pretty well though as I say, it was not applied to the precise location of the high potential.  In future years once this dive team perfects their procedures for working in this difficult location and at challenging depths we hope to find some very cool archaeological stuff dating to the terminal Pleistocene / end of the last ice age.