Sites & cities that bear the name of Cape Krusenstern

Cape Krusenstern

Today in : United States of America
First trace of activity : ca. 8,000 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 19th century C.E

Description : Cape Krusenstern National Monument and the colocated Cape Krusenstern Archeological District is a U.S. National Monument and a National Historic Landmark centered on Cape Krusenstern in northwestern Alaska. The national monument is one of fifteen new National Park Service units designated by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980. It was initially declared a national monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978. Cape Krusenstern is primarily a coastal plain, containing large lagoons and rolling hills of limestone. The bluffs record thousands of years of change in the shorelines of the Chukchi Sea, as well as evidence of some 9,000 years of human habitation. The park's central features, 114 beach ridges at the eponymous cape, alternate between sandy and gravelly ridges and narrow ponds. Located entirely above the Arctic Circle in a region of permafrost, the monument's lands include typical thermokarst features. The archeological district comprises 114 ancient beach ridges which formed approximately 60 years apart. They provide a sequential look at over 5000 years of habitation. The area in the National Historic Landmark is vast, making this one of the largest NHLs in the U.S., along with the Adirondack Park. The national historic landmark was designated on November 7, 1973. The beach ridges are the primary reason for the area's preservation, which serves to safeguard evidence of 5,000 years of occupation by the Inupiat people, and more than 9,000 years of human occupation. Initial investigations by archaeologist J. Louis Giddings in the late 1940s found campsites on the cape as much as 4,000 years old, and even older sites on the mainland. University of Washington researchers have undertaken several years of excavations to document about one third of the 9,000-acre (3,600 ha) beach complex. Researchers found campsites, hearths and animal bones, with a few stone tools and pieces of pottery. In newer locations the team documented the remains of semi-subterranean houses built into the beach ridges. The oldest mainland sites such as Battle Rock, Rabbit Mountain and the Lower Bench date to the Paleo-Arctic Tradition, about 10,000 to 7,000 years before present. Similar materials have been recovered in the Trail Creek caves of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve on the Seward Peninsula. The Palisades site has yielded materials from the Northern Archaic period dating to about 6,000 years before the present. Later periods described in the region include the Arctic Small Tool tradition and the Northern Maritime tradition. The western Thule culture, which used dogs and seal oil extended from 950 AD to 1400, and was succeeded by the Kotzebue culture from about 1400 to about 1850, when Europeans began to affect native cultures. Kotzebue sites are widespread within the monument.

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