Event Title

Mapping Mikt’sqaq Angayuk: A GIS Analysis of a Nineteenth-Century Sod House

Location

King Building 335

Document Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 5:50 PM

Abstract

During the 1800s, the Russian American Company conscripted native Alaskan workers to engage in fishing and fur-trapping industries. As part of this work, the Russians forced the Alutiiq people of Kodiak, Alaska set up small seasonal work camps, which have reappeared in the archaeological record. In 2009, archaeologists Amy Margaris from Oberlin College, Molly Odell from the University of Washington, and Mark Rusk partnered with Patrick Saltonstall from the Alutiiq Museum to excavate the site Mikt’sqaq Angayuk. Located at Womens Bay in Kodiak, this site contains a traditional sod house with a side room and an associated midden. Following the excavation, artifacts were photographed an analyzed and an associated paper was published. In the spring of 2017, I revisited these data and used GIS software to create a map of the house floor, detailing the locations of the artifacts. Using the map I was able to make conjectures about how the space may have been used and how Alutiiq workers may have navigated working under Russian conscription. The large number of metal objects at the site, particularly birdshots, clustered in the central room of the house, show that the people had weapons and means of sustaining themselves independently. Additionally, the fire cracked rock present in the side room is consistent with Alutiiq steam rooms, implying that occupants continued traditions even at a remote site. These elements, along with other evidence from the site, indicate that the Alutiiq occupants had a greater level of autonomy than we may have expected.

Keywords:

GIS, archaeology, Alaska

Notes

Archaeological Studies Senior Project Panel
Session III, Panel 13 - Archaeological | Studies
Moderator: Amy Margaris, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Major

Archaeological Studies; Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology
Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, Anthropology

Project Mentor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology

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Apr 28th, 4:30 PM Apr 28th, 5:50 PM

Mapping Mikt’sqaq Angayuk: A GIS Analysis of a Nineteenth-Century Sod House

King Building 335

During the 1800s, the Russian American Company conscripted native Alaskan workers to engage in fishing and fur-trapping industries. As part of this work, the Russians forced the Alutiiq people of Kodiak, Alaska set up small seasonal work camps, which have reappeared in the archaeological record. In 2009, archaeologists Amy Margaris from Oberlin College, Molly Odell from the University of Washington, and Mark Rusk partnered with Patrick Saltonstall from the Alutiiq Museum to excavate the site Mikt’sqaq Angayuk. Located at Womens Bay in Kodiak, this site contains a traditional sod house with a side room and an associated midden. Following the excavation, artifacts were photographed an analyzed and an associated paper was published. In the spring of 2017, I revisited these data and used GIS software to create a map of the house floor, detailing the locations of the artifacts. Using the map I was able to make conjectures about how the space may have been used and how Alutiiq workers may have navigated working under Russian conscription. The large number of metal objects at the site, particularly birdshots, clustered in the central room of the house, show that the people had weapons and means of sustaining themselves independently. Additionally, the fire cracked rock present in the side room is consistent with Alutiiq steam rooms, implying that occupants continued traditions even at a remote site. These elements, along with other evidence from the site, indicate that the Alutiiq occupants had a greater level of autonomy than we may have expected.