Anangula Island

Anangula Island is located in Alaska
Anangula Island
Location in Alaska

Anangula Island (Russian: Анангула; also called Ananiuliak Island;[1][2] occasionally referred to as Kurityien Anaiuliak, Anaiuliak, Anayulyakh or Anangouliak[3] Russian: Ананиулиак) is a small island in the Fox Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of southwestern Alaska. The 1.4-mile (2.3 km)-long island is separated from Umnak Island by a channel about 0.93 miles (1.50 km) wide and consists of a mostly barren tundra landscape of volcanic ash.[4]

Ancient history

During the last Pleistocene ice age, Anangula and nearby Umnak Island formed the tip of a peninsula on the southern edge of the Bering land bridge and was covered by the Cordilleran Ice Sheet that dominated the northwestern portion of North America.[5][6] This made the area unsuitable for both animal and human habitation until the ice sheet began to recede about 10-12,000 years bp.[7] The first human settlement on Anangula (and the oldest known evidence of human activity in the Aleutians[8]), a small village and core and blade site on the southeastern end of the island, was established about 8,400 years bp.[8][9][10] Although estimates of how long the settlement was occupied range from under 100 years to more than 1,500 years, it is generally agreed that it was abandoned after a major eruption at the Okmok volcano 70 kilometers (43 mi) northeast on Umnak buried the area under nearly two meters of ash.[4][6][11]

Recent history

During the 1910s, Anangula was one of many Aleutian islands to be stocked with Arctic foxes by the United States government for trapping and fur trading purposes, in this case mostly by the Aleuts who lived in Nikolski, about 4.3 miles (6.9 km) to the south on Umnak Island.[12] Later, during the 1930s, an additional population of rabbits was established on the island to serve as food for the foxes. In the late 1940s, the foxes were removed because of their detrimental effects on the native marine bird populations, though the rabbits remain to the present.[4]

The island gained some prominence in the archaeological community with the discovery of the core and blade site by William S. Laughlin in 1938. Later expeditions by Laughlin during the 1950s and 1960s uncovered more artifacts and a series of four expeditions in 1970-1974 unearthed the village site.[4]


  1. ^ "Anangula Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  2. ^ "National Historic Landmarks in Alaska - Anangula Site, Ananiuliak Island, Aleutians". United States National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  3. ^ Baker, Marcus; J. McCormick (1906). Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. United States Geological Survey. p. 98. Retrieved 2009-01-12. anangula.
  4. ^ a b c d West, Constance F. (1996). American Beginnings. University of Chicago Press. pp. 443–444, 446. ISBN 978-0-226-89399-0. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  5. ^ Josephy, Alvin M. (1991). The Indian Heritage of America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-395-57320-4. Retrieved 2009-01-12. anangula island.
  6. ^ a b Black, Robert F. Late-Quaternary Geomorphic Processes: Effects on the Ancient Aleuts of Umnak Island (PDF). University of Connecticut. pp. 161–165. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  7. ^ McCartney, Allen P.; Douglas W. Veltre (1999). Aleutian Island Prehistory: Living in Insular Extremes (abstract). Taylor & Francis. JSTOR 1550607.
  8. ^ a b Gibbon, Guy E.; Kenneth M. Ames (1998). Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America. Taylor & Francis. pp. 12–14. ISBN 978-0-8153-0725-9. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  9. ^ "Cultural Change in the Aleutian Islands: Contact with Another Culture". Alaska Native Knowledge Network. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
  10. ^ Black, Robert F. (1976). "Geology of Umnak Island, Eastern Aleutian Islands as Related to the Aleuts (abstract)". 8. University of Colorado: 7–35. JSTOR 1550607. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Workman, William B. (1979). The Significance of Volcanism in the Prehistory of Subarctic Northwestern North America. Academic Press, Inc. pp. 161–162. ISBN 0-12-639120-3. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  12. ^ "New findings about Pan'kovs from Alaska". Retrieved 2008-09-23.

Coordinates: 53°00′02″N 168°54′40″W / 53.00056°N 168.91111°W / 53.00056; -168.91111