Siberian scholars launch research group

Posted: Monday, September 04, 2006

KODIAK - A summit between archaeologists and historical researchers from both sides of the Bering Sea took place at the Baranov Museum Aug. 29, when a group of Russian-America scholars from Alaska hosted four colleagues from Siberia.

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The Siberian delegates were on a whirlwind tour, having visited Russian-America historic sites in Fort Ross, Calif., as well as Sitka and Ninilchik earlier in the week. One scholar, Natalia Volkova, director of the Shelikov Museum in Shelikov, Russia, said Kodiak was a place she dreamed of visiting since she began studying history as a child.

The visit was funded by the National Science Foundation and was one of the first practical moves by the Joint Siberian-Alaska Research Group, a conglomerate of historians and archaeologists who specialize in a period of history they say has been neglected.

"Did we not learn all about the English colonies in high school?" Archaeologist Ty Dillipane asked. The history of Spanish and Dutch exploration is also taught in the U.S., Dillipane said, but "Our people just haven't had a chance to learn about (Russian America)."

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