Archaeologists discover a spot in Alaska where an indigenous fort once stood

Archaeologists have discovered in southeastern Alaska where indigenous peoples built a wooden fort more than two centuries ago to resist Russian invaders.

According to the National Park Service, the fort was located on Baranof Island in the early 1800s to protect itself from Russian invaders in the 1804 battle by the Sitka Tlingit people, now known as Alaska Panhandle. Was built in. website. According to Park Services, the Sitka National Historical Park was created to protect the battlefield.

“This is a crucial historical event in the history of the region, but now the people of Tlingit,” said Thomas Urban, a research scientist and author of the study at Cornell University, on Monday. It’s also an important symbol for us. ” The journal Antiquity details the findings. “It’s a sacred place.”

However, the exact location of the fort, which was demolished by the Russians shortly after winning the battle, has long avoided archaeologists who previously found only clues and traces.

A large survey now conducted by National Park Service archaeologists Urban and Brinencarter in the fall of 2019 reveals the perimeter of the fortress, consistent with the shapes and dimensions recorded by the Russians in the 19th century. I found an electromagnetic anomaly, Mr Urban said.

“Something is different in the basement where the fortress was,” he said. “They may have had to have ditches and trees. Due to the different compaction of the ground, there are different physical properties around the fort.”

According to Urban, the location of the fort was long thought to be in a settlement in a park called the fort’s settlement. However, investigations revealed that the fort extended about 20 feet in each direction beyond the settlement into the surrounding forest, he said. The survey spanned 40 acres, and Mr Urban said he intended to rule out the possibility of another location.

“No other place in the park has such geophysical features,” he said.

Tlingit has built a fort called Shís’gi Noow, which means sapling fort in Tlingit, at a strategic location at the mouth of the Indian River, adjacent to shallow tidal flats. “To prevent Russians from moving ship-based cannons nearby. According to the Park Services website, the walls of the fortress effectively negate its military advantage.

Tlingit succeeded in defeating the Russian invaders in 1802, which had a profound effect on the Russian fur trade business and its base in Alaska.

When the Russians returned in the fall of 1804, Tlingit was able to dodge the attack, but they suffered setbacks that threatened their survival: canoes carrying their spare gunpowder on the eve of the battle. Exploded into, says the Park Services website.

The gunpowder-deficient Tlingit has made a tactical decision to leave the fort a few days later at night and move to another island in modern-day Alaska Panhandle, Park Service said. The Russians won the battle and occupied Alaska until 1867 when Alaska sold its territory to the United States.

Before dismantling the fort, the Russians made detailed sketches and recorded the dimensions of the fort. Mr Urban said it matches what he and Dr. Carter found. The story of the battle has been passed down to oral history by the Tlingit people. (Alaskan Sitka members whose ancestors fought the Russians did not return voice messages or emails asking for comment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)

Urban said finding the location of the fort would give the Tlingit people a physical location that would lead to their history.

“It’s part of a living cultural landscape that’s important to those who are there now,” Urban said. “As a place and to be able to confirm that this story has a physical form-I think it’s very important.”

Archaeologists discover a spot in Alaska where an indigenous fort once stood

Source link Archaeologists discover a spot in Alaska where an indigenous fort once stood

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