Q. Lenice wrote wondering about the size of Alaska, and things like when it became a state, etc. Also, she wants to know when it was first discovered?
A. Most of these questions were covered previously, so please check the archives, Lenice. You’ll probably find several things of interest. One thing you wondered, and I don’t remember covering before, was when Alaska was first discovered?
Here’s the scoop! Thousands of years ago, there was a land bridge connecting Alaska and Siberia. It was a big land bridge – a thousand miles wide from north to south! You know how humans always think the grass is greener on the other side of the ‘land bridge’? Well, they kept moving farther and farther along the land bridge, finally coming to what is now Alaska.
Archaeologists think there were 3 major migrations of people; several thousand years apart. The first ones are the ancestors of most Indian tribes in North and South America. The 2nd migration provided the ancestors for the Tlingits, Eyaks and Athabaskans of Alaska, and also the Navaho and Apache tribes of the American southwest. The last group, perhaps as recent as 4,000 years ago, are ancestors of Eskimos and Aleuts. They came from the coast of northeast Siberia.
Now the sea level is much different and so the land bridge is gone. All that remains are two pieces sticking up – 3 miles apart. Big Diomede Island and Little Diomede Island – one owned by Alaska and one by Russia. If there is anything further you wonder about, give me a try! -Bonnie J.