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Amalik Bay Archeological District

King Salmon, Alaska
County of Lake and Peninsula.
National Register Number: 05000460
Resource type: District.
Property type: Domestic - camp. The threat level was Threatened in
Certified Local Government: NO

Statement of Significance (as of designation - April 5, 2005):
Amalik Bay was a gateway for the widespread exchange of ideas and technological innovations, including ground-slate tools and Norton-style pottery, hallmarks in the development of coastal Eskimo economies across the far northern reaches of the continent. The lowest cultural levels found at sites in the district are particularly significant in answering questions about early coastal vs. interior migrations as the site is dated precisely to the cusp between the Paleoarctic (mostly interior) and later traditions. The Amalik Bay sites, located in a position between the Bristol Bay side of the Alaska Peninsula to the northwest (linguistically Yupik Eskimo) and Kodiak Island (Alutiiq Eskimo) to the southeast, are significant for their potential to shed light on provocative questions concerning Alutiiq ethnogenesis. The Mink Island site, one of 28 contributing properties to the Amalik Bay district, plays a pivotal role in understanding the breadth of early (ca. 6,000 years BC) coastal technologies from the Aleutians eastward along the entire southern coast of Alaska.

Amalik Bay sites are threatened, largely by severe erosion. Recent looting at one of the sites has been documented by NPS staff, but it is believed to be a relatively minor threat. There is a strong likelihood that erosion will continue and increase as a result of the effects of global warming, which include higher sea levels and increased storminess. Monitoring continues on an annual basis by NPS staff. In 2006, the park cultural resources staff undertook a major stabilization effort at Mink Island, the oldest site in the archeological district. They installed rock-filled wire baskets (gabions) to protect the site from coastal erosion. The efficacy of the stabilization will be monitored during the summer of 2007.

Continuing archeological survey and monitoring.

Comments and questions about the database may be directed to NHL_info@nps.gov