Anangula Island, Bering Sea

Anangula Island, Bering Sea

by | Dec 26, 2018

Anangula Island, also known as Ananiuliak Island, is in the Eastern Aleutian Islands off the west coast of Umnak Island, about 3.1 miles (5 km) northwest of Nikolski, Alaska. The name for Anangula is so old that the Unangan Aleut no longer understand its meaning. The Aleut name was first reported by Captain Lutke in 1836 as “Anangouliak” and first charted as “Anayulyakh Island” in 1852 by Captain Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy.

The island has archaeological evidence for an ancient village that supported the earliest known human settlements in the Americas, dating to about 8400 years ago. This is significant because most, and possibly all, other archaeological sites located on the coast have been lost by erosion.

During the last Pleistocene ice age when sea level was lower, Anangula was likely joined to Umnak Island forming a peninsula along the northern shoreline of Nikolski Bay. This was the southern edge of the Bering Land Bridge and was covered by the Cordilleran ice sheet that dominated the northwestern portion of North America. This made the area unsuitable for both animal and human habitation until the ice sheet began to recede about 10,000-12,000 years ago. Evidence of the first human settlement, and the oldest known evidence of human activity in the Aleutians, was a small village and core and blade site on the southeastern end of the island. The village was abandoned after a major eruption of the Okmok volcano 43 miles (70 km) to the northeast on Umnak that buried the area under nearly 6.5 feet (2 m) of ash. Read more here and here. Explore more Anangula Island here:

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