There is such a deep and rich history surrounding Alaska. Every bit of this land seems to be saturated with legend and lore. Yet those legends are true, and the knowledge of the people and the wildlife that used to walk the same grounds that we now do is staggering and nearly incomprehensible.
In roughly 14,000 BC the first wave of humans crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia into what is now Alaska. The Tlingit peoples, the largest group, settled into Alaska’s panhandle. The Aleuts settled in the Aleutian Chain, and the Haida’s settled on the coast of what is now British Columbia, Canada. The history of these locations is breathtaking and mind-boggling (if you’re a history nerd like I am, that is).
The name Alaska derives from the Aleut word Alaxsxaq, also spelled Alyeska, which translates to “mainland”, but literally means ‘the object toward which the action of the sea is directed”.
Alaska boasts more coastline than the all the coastal states in the U.S. combined, and the smaller islands that cling near the shore are so numerous that no one even knows exactly how many there are. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are unnamed and uncharted. And one in particular keeps a fascinating history…
The island of St. Paul is known as one of the last strongholds of the woolly mammoth, and it is recorded that these great and wild creatures existed on St. Paul for 6,000 years after the ice age ended, and perished a mere 5,600 years ago (it seems like a long time ago, but in the grand scheme of time, it’s shockingly recent). It was determined that the reason for extinction of the woolly mammoth on St. Paul Island was the disappearance of fresh water. Humans didn’t set foot on St. Paul Island until long after the woolly mammoth died off.
The human history and the natural history of Alaska is a deeply intriguing one, and even in today’s quickly-changing modern world, vast portions of Alaska seem to be untouched and pure. We live in a state that is so far removed from the rest of the lower 48, or the “outside” as Alaskan’s refer to it, that it’s easy to forget that we are not our own little world. But Alaska really is its own world, and it’s a world that is soaked with history and beauty and magic beyond belief.
Book your stay at Sauerdough Lodging and immerse yourself in a time of yore.
Blog by Liberty Elias Miller. Visit her website here: https://www.libertyeliasmiller.com/