Prehistoric Fish Trap Unearthed On Kodiak


Cool story coming from Kodiak Island, where arachaeologists discovered the remains of an fish trap artifact. 

Here’s Anchorage’s KTUU-TV with more:

The stone trap was discovered earlier this month in the intertidal zone near the mouth of a salmon stream near Kodiak Island.

“We’ve never found anything (like it) in the intertidal zone,” said Patrick Saltonstall, an archaeologist based at the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak who initially found the trap. “I was on top looking down, and I said, ‘Look! A weir!’ It was sort of obvious once you saw it.”

Saltonstall and University of Alaska Fairbanks student Justin Hays made the discovery while conducting reconnaissance work in the area for the Afognak Native Corporation. The research is part of a two-year effort by the corporation to map important cultural sites on its 387 square miles of land. The idea is to help the native corporation put place land management policies in place to help protect archaeological sites.

Saltonstall identified the rare intertidal fish trap as well as a set of previously undocumented petroglyphs, or rock carvings, near the shore, according to Amy Steffian, Alutiiq Museum Head Curator. Though the petroglyphs are a “well-known” feature of the area’s cultural landscape, the fish trap is considered rare as it is the first intertidal fishing structure identified in the region.

“This recent find illustrates that people used this technology as far north as Kodiak,” Saltonstall said. Somewhat similar fish traps have been found along the Pacific coast. “It’s exciting learning about a whole other aspect of Alutiiq fishing.”