State of Alaska > Natural Resources > Parks and Outdoor Recreation > History and Archaeology
An overwhelming number of organizations and individuals contributed to the success of the Castle Hill Archaeological Project. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) funded the archaeological recovery program. The contractor, John McGraw, cooperated in the recovery effort and assisted at every opportunity. Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka generously allowed the use of a well-equipped science laboratory for artifact processing in conjunction with the field recovery effort. The Sitka Campus of the University of Alaska Southeast provided low-cost university housing near the site in exchange for student field-school opportunities. Other organizations that assisted with the project include: the Alaska Historical Commission; the Alaska Historical Society; Alaska Magazine (Andy Hall); Alaska Southeasterner magazine; the Alaska State Museum (Brook Bowman, Jan Criswell, Steve Henrikson); Alaska State Parks, Sitka office (Ranger Jack Blackwell); the Anchorage Daily News; the Anchorage Museum of History and Art (Walter VanHorn, Mina Jacobs, Barbara Smith); the City and Borough of Sitka; the Isabel Miller Museum; Islands Magazine (Heather Pringle); McCrone Research Institute; KRSA Radio; KCAW ("Raven") Radio; the Sheldon Jackson Museum (Peter Corey); the Sitka Daily Sentinel (Thad Poulson); Sitka National Historical Park (especially Harvey Brandt, Gene Griffin, John Hallum, Sue Thorsen); the Sitka Tribe of Alaska (Robby Craig, Fred Hope, Mark Jacobs, Jr., Terry Pegues, Robert Sam); the USDA Tongass National Forest (Karen Iwamoto, Rachel Myron, Dr. Stanley Davis, Pat Bower, Kathy Brown; and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Viola Bell, 1995 chairperson of the Alaska Day Committee, allowed us to copy her original Sitka photos for use in the report. We appreciate the help and advice of Dr. Lydia Black, UAF professor emerita, who spent several days excavating with us during the 1998 field season. Many Sitka residents, both former and present, provided historical background during the course of the project. In particular, we would like to thank Joe Ashby, Bob DeArmond, and George Hall.
A strategy to conserve the Castle Hill artifacts was developed through the collaboration of OHA with the Alaska State Museum (Brook Bowman, conservator) and Texas A&M University's Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory (Dr. C. Wayne Smith, Director). John Middleton, a scholar of Russian-American material culture and nautical artifacts in general, spent several days examining the collection in our laboratory and was kind enough to write the forward to this volume. Johns expertise, particularly with regard to clothing, resulted in the identification of several unique artifacts. We would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Glen Farris, California Department of Parks archaeologist, who provided us with data from the Fort Ross excavations. Katerina (Katya) Solovjova Wessels (National Park Service, Anchorage) translated text on some of the lead seals. Professor Kazuyoshi Ohtsuka and his associates from the Japanese National Museum of Ethnology visited our Anchorage laboratory on three occasions, assisting with the identification of Japanese coins and other Asian trade materials from Castle Hill. Alaska State Historian, Joan Antonson, assisted in the field during 1997-1998. Jo also kindly edited the final report, and provided useful comments on the final report, as well as many articles and documents produced in conjunction with the project. Archaeological Illustrator Sherry Bowden produced excellent drawings of some of the artifacts at no cost to the project. To the innumerable individuals from all of the above organizations who contributed their time and efforts, to those inadvertently left out, and to the many thousands of visitors who expressed an interest in the site, we give our wholehearted thanks. Finally, I would like to acknowledge my wife, Patricia Browne and son, Christopher Cheney, who endured my obsession with the project over the last several years.
A list of field participants follows:
Full-time Staff: Dave McMahan, Alan DePew
Volunteers: John Hallum, Robin Klanott, Michael Strunk, Liz Thomas, Sue Thorsen, Pat Bower, Kathy Brown
Full-time Staff: Dave McMahan, Margan Grover, Renee Petruzelli, Daniel Thompson, Michael Strunk, Kohji Carrigan, Kory Cooper, Bob Forshaw, Robin Klanott, Nicole Lance
Part-time Staff: Joan Antonson, Judith Bittner, Dr. Charles E. Holmes, Michelle Jesperson, Dr. Douglas Reger
Volunteers: Steve Burkhart, Jennifer Cerney, Christopher Cheney, Helen Craig, Ty Dilliplane, Mary Gouthier, Roberta Guthert, Rebecca Joyce, Stephen Maach, Barbara Marquet, Helen Mercado, Karen Olson, Pat Roppel, Mary Soltis, Libby Stortz, Sasha Stortz, Jim Stratton, Jamey Torgerson, Joan Vanderwerp, Sandy Vent, Linda Wescott, Liz Wescott
Full-time Staff:Dave McMahan, Margan Grover, Renee Petruzelli, Daniel Thompson, Michael Strunk, Kory Cooper, Bob Forshaw, Robin Klanott, Amy Tomsen, Erik Hilsinger
Part-time Staff: Joan Antonson, Joan Dale, Dr. Diane Hanson, Dr. Charles E. Holmes, Chris Jackson, Elizabeth Cheney, Earl Williams, Jr., Dr. Douglas Reger
Volunteers: Dr. Lydia Black, Jan Criswell, Steve Henrikson, Steven King, Daniel Poulson, Pat Roppel, Steve Vastola
Lab Analysts and Research Associates: 1998-2001
Dave McMahan, Margan Grover, Renee Petruzelli, Daniel Thompson, Michael Strunk, Marc Haughaboo
Last updated on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
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