and Alutiiq Museums
are teaming up to begin an excavation at the historic Baranov Museum
site as a part of their Bicentennial Archaeology Project. Mary Donaldson has
marks the bicentennial anniversary of the construction of the Baranov Museum’s
Erskine House. The Russian American Magazin is the oldest building in the
state of Alaska.
It was originally constructed in 1808 as a warehouse for a
Russian-American Company’s storage of sea otter furs before their transit to
markets in China and Russia.
Oliver, the executive director at the Baranov Museum
says the history of the museum is rich.
(Oliver 1 :31s “…the Erskine house now.”)
The Erskine House is also one of
the four remaining Russian-constructed buildings in the U.S.
To mark the 200 year anniversary of
the Erskine House, the Baranov Museum is collaborating with the Alutiiq Museum
to begin a two week archaeological dig on the Baranov museum grounds to recover
any historical artifacts.
Mark Cassell is a historical
Archeologist from Territory Heritage Resource Consulting in Anchorage. He will be working on the dig and says
it is meant to uncover the past use of the land at this location.
(Cassell 1 :40s “…all the way up into the 1960’s.”)
As part of
the excavation, archaeologists and community members will be mapping, surveying
and recovering historical artifacts at the location. He also says very little
archaeological work has been done at the site previously.
(Cassell 2 :15s “…the Erskine house, ever.”)
Oliver says that there will be
many more events taking place in celebration of the bicentennial year for the
(Oliver 2 :31s “…and speeches.”)
She says the
first Friday of each month throughout the museum’s bicentennial year will be
family fun nights, which will include extended hours and free admission for
families to enjoy. The two week dig begins today (Thursday).