ALUTIIQ MUSEUM  215 Mission Road, Kodiak, Alaska 99615   |  844-425-8844  |  view calendar > | search >

RESEARCH

The Alutiiq Museum's staff leads research on many aspects of Alutiiq heritage. We study Alutiiq collections in museum's around the world, lead archaeological field work, conduct oral history interviews, and document the Alutiiq language. There are many opportunities to be involved in museum research.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

Let's all study Alutiiq!

Explore the links below for articles on the Alutiiq alphabet and basic Alutiiq grammar.  Learn about the history of the language, review letters and sounds, discover vocabulary, and build simple sentences.  Click on any title below to start.  These lessons were written by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Alutiiq Elders Nick Alokli, Florence Pestrikoff, and Sophie Shepherd provided the language recordings.

Native people have lived in the Kodiak Archipelago for at least 7,500 years, yet the written record of their history extends back just 250 years, to the time of Russian conquest. Archaeological sites offer the opportunity to study the remaining 7,250 years of Alutiiq history. They are an Alutiiq library.

Kodiak Archaeology Handout

SlateLanceKashSmA 4,500 year-old slate lance found at the Kashevaroff site.

FACT: The Kodiak Archipelago has one of the richest archaeological records in Alaska. The region holds at least 2,000 sites, about 4.5 percent of all the archaeological deposits recorded in Alaska.

FACT: Kodiak’s high density of archaeological sites reflects 7,500 years of human occupation and large
prehistoric populations.

FACT: Scientists have been studying Kodiak prehistory since 1930. Kodiak is one of the more intensely researched regions of Alaska from an archaeological perspective.

FACT: Many of Kodiak’s archaeological sites are remarkably well preserved, with bone, ivory, and antler tools, and sometimes  wood and fiber artifacts. These unique finds reflect the archipelago’s cool, wet climate, which helps to preserve organic materials.

FACT: Archaeologists recognize a variety of different sites from large coastal villages dotted with the remains
of sod houses, to stream side fish camps, fort sites on precipitous cliffs, stone quarries, fish weirs, trails, cairns, petroglyphs, and secluded mountain caves where whalers prepared for the hunt.

FACT: Archaeologists recognize five distinctive cultural traditions, each representing a different way of life. Despite changes in the organization of ancient societies, archaeologists believe that modern Alutiiq people are descended from Kodiak’s earliest residents.

State and federal laws proect Alaska's sites. It is illegal to dig in sites or collect artifacts without a permit.
Learn more through Stewards of Heritage - our short video series.