A lost fort is discovered in the Alaska. The monument has been actually discovered during the broad scale geophysical survey. The location of the fort is very crucial in the history of people of Alaska. The site of fort is linked with a key combat between Tlingit folks and Russian colonizers. The archaeologists and researchers of different disciplines like historians, geographers, etc., had been looking for it from almost more than a century.
History of the Alaska’s Fort
In 19th century, the indigenous people of Alaska were under the threat of Russians. In the year of 1804, there was a most important and decisive battle between Russian colonising forces and Tlingit clans of Alaska. In that battle, Aleut subjects of Russians supported them. The same region is known as Sitka of Alaska.
|The Site plan of the Fort, Source: National Park Service, USA|
The combat’s story was documented in Russian historical literature. And the similar story is also found in the in the Tlingit’s oral history. But in both records, the perspectives are different but the major things are similar that there was a fight. In that stories, there is a description of a fort. In Tlingit’s oral story, the fort is known as
The wall of the fort was relatively very thick. The shape of the fort was trapezoidal. The dimensions were 240 feet X 165 feet. The fort was erected by Tlingit folks of the Kiks.adi clan to prevent themselves from any future attack by Russian forces. In 1799, Russian fur dealers made a dealing station at today’s Old Sitka. During the clash between them, t, also known as the sapling fort, on a cape at the opening of the Indian River. The total number of fighters from the Tlingit’s side were 800.
The fort was sheltered from Russians by extensive tidelands. During the initial stage of the battle, they failed the Russian attempts but later, Russians recoiled. The victory of Tlingit was only for a short time. During the final stage of the battle, the gunpowder of the Tlingit was almost over so the elders in the Tlingit force had decided to abandon that building during the night. Later, The Russians completely destroyed the abandoned Fort. But they did not prepare any map or plan of the fort before destroying it.
The results from the quadrature EM component (linked with electrical conductivity) and GPR (Ground penetrating Radar) exposed an outline of the fort which is similar to the shape and size of the fort described in the historical sources. The in-phase EM element (linked to magnetic susceptibility) showed a lot of metallic anomalies. Some of these are due to more recent activities. But beside this, the other debris might be associated with the battle of the fort fought with the Russians in the 19th century. In previous explorations, Canon balls were also found in the past.
The research is led by archaeologist Thomas Urban and his colleagues from the Cornell University. Recently, they have discovered the remains of the sapling fort in south-eastern Alaska. The exact region is the Sitka National Historical Park. The fort was lost for almost 200 years has many reasons. The fort was made up of mainly wood that’s why it was completely razed by the imperial forces of Russia at that time.
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