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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chirikof 50 Years Later

Chirikof 1963

Same place almost exactly 50 years later

Same spot in 1963 looking towards round rock

Same view in 2013

SW Anchorage in 1963

SW Anchorage 2013
Archaeologists first visited Chirikof in 1962, but the first comprehensive survey took place in late July 1963 when Dr. Don Clark and Dr. Bill Workman visited the island.  So our work this year - with Patrick, Catherine, Sam, and Jack - took place just shy of the 50th anniversary of that survey.  We brought 3 photos from 1963 with us to Chirikof and on the last day we tried to match the old photos up with the current landscape.  We barely completed our photos in time - literally a moment after I took the bottom photo the weather socked in and it rained hard until we got picked up.

At first we had a hard time matching up the photos.  Then I remembered that in 'the old days' all cameras came with a fixed 50 mm lens.  I just happened to have one for my SLR, and I ran back to the tent to get it.  With the 50 mm lens attached the frames became uncannily easy to match up - the frame is virtually the same!

It is amazing to see how much the place has changed in 50 years.  I actually think the place is better vegetated and that the landscape is eroding less than it was in 1963.  It also looks like the 4000 year-old Old Islander site might still be there - just buried under the sand.  Patrick

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