ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Plumbing the shallows of Lower Cook Inlet near the tip of the Kenai Peninsula this summer, a team of divers located what authorities say is the oldest American shipwreck in Alaska.
It also marks a pivotal chapter in U.S. history.
The four-person party charted and photographed remnants of the Torrent, a huge, square-rigged sailing vessel that struck a reef and sank near Port Graham in 1868, less than a year after the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Four decades after it was abandoned, King Island holds an almost mystical pull for former inhabitants and their descendants, its crumbling homes still perched on stilts, clinging to the steep, rocky terrain.
Until recently, little else remained of the island, an Inupiat Eskimo village, except for traditions, memories and artifacts scattered at museums around the nation. Then came word from a stranger nearly 2,000 miles away who said she possessed an ancient mask a relative brought back from Alaska more than a century ago.
On the back of the relic was a faint inscription: "Taken from a medicine man's grave on King Island."
After the discovery of 10,000 year old human remains in On Your Knees Cave on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, a unique partnership formed among the Tongass National Forest, scientists and Alaska Native tribes to learn about this ancient person. The groups, brought together through the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, worked to unravel the secrets of the early man and learn from each other. After this production, DNA analysis from these remains produced strong evidence of early human coastal migration into the Americas.
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