Commemorative service on the grave of one of the Neva’s survivors
Some of the most informative discoveries were made towards the end of the last field season. At the northern edge of the survivors’ camp, archaeologists Dan Thompson and Dr. Brinnen Carter uncovered a rectangular wood stain oriented east-west and outlined my mismatched iron nails. The dimensions of the stain coupled with its orientation left no doubts that archaeologists had inadvertently discovered one of the shipwreck victims’ graves. After consulting with the U.S. Forest Service (as landowner) and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, archaeologists stopped excavation once the nature of this feature had been established and backfilled it without further disturbance. A Russian-Orthodox priest from St. Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka, and representatives from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska traveled to the site to hold ceremonies in commemoration of the tragedy and lost lives.