Located on the west coast of Alaska north of the Arctic Circle, Cape Krusenstern National Monument can only be accessed by plane or boat. The 560,000 acre monument contains evidence of all known cultural traditions in northwest Alaska from the past 5,000 years including sites attributed to the Denbigh, Choris, Ipiutak, Birnirk, and Thule peoples along with historic whaling period sites and modern Inupiaq summer fishing camps. Today, cultural sites in the park are threatened by coastal erosion as a result of climate change.
Archaeological Fun Fact: During the 1950s, pioneer Arctic archaeologist Louis Giddings excavated 114 successive beach ridges, documenting six distinct cultures that occupied the coast of Cape Krusenstern over a period of over 5,000 years.
Park website: www.nps.gov/cakr/
7,700 years ago, a volcano erupted and collapsed, forming beautiful, blue Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The Makalak people witnessed the eruption of Mount Mazama, and their stories were passed down orally to their descendants, the Klamath Indians. Read a brief account of the great battle waged between Chief Llao and Chief Skell to learn more about the eruption and the formation of Crater Lake.
Archaeological Fun Fact: During the 1930s, at the Fort Rock cave site, archaeologist Luther Cressman found dozens of woven sagebrush sandals preserved under a layer of ash from the eruption of Mount Mazama. The sandals were radiocarbon dated as 9,000-10,000 years old. Researchers returned to the Fort Rock cave site for further investigations in 2015.
Park website: www.nps.gov/crla/
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