Castle Hill Archaeological Project

Photos: Field

(click image to enlarge)

Phoenix buttons. Published sources say that these were manufactured in England for King Christophe of Haiti. After the king's suicide in 1820, undelivered buttons found their way into the Pacific Coast fur trade. Castle Hill marks the northermost occurrence of this artifact type.


Lead seals, inscribed with the initials of the Russian-American Co., were used to secure bales of furs.


Letter codes indicate the fur type and grade. The "v" may indicate a newborn sea otter pup [Hagemeister 1818].


A variation in script type: "RAK" (i.e., RAC - Russian-American Co.)

Chinese coins have been found on other Russian sites in Alaska, and were a widely distributed currency type.


Two copper crucifixes were recovered from the site.

Sheet copper scraps occur in great abundance.

An apparent copper spoon blank. As with blacksmithing, the handle would have been added later.

A double-ended salt spoon (?) from sheet copper.

A curved copper (or alloy) carving (?) instrument.

A copper snuffbox (?) lid.

A sample of copper nails, abundant on the site.

Flattened lead sheathed lower walls and corners of ceilings against rats at Castle Hill [1820 account by Fedorova, 1973;222-223].