The Aleutian Tradition of 2500 BC – The longest Known Civilization on Earth – Extinct around 1750 AD

It is believed that the Aleutian Islands were the first New World Island that were inhabited by the people coming from Asia especially Siberia. The Aleutian island is one of the most isolated places on earth so the tradition of Aleutian people flourished till 1800 AD before they were discovered and wiped out by the Russians. The people started migrating from Siberia to Aleutian island from the year 6500 BC. These people were scattered at that point of time and they were having no major trade links between different island communities. Archeologist agrees that till 2500 BC. These people started developing trade links and their lifestyle pattern was changed to great extent. Thus, the Aleutian Culture formally started around 2500 BC near the Western Alaskan Islands.

Aleut Dresses and Tools

Aleut Man


The Aleutian islands are located in one of the world’s most dangerous seismic zones so earthquake are quite frequent here. Apart from this it’s also included in the Ring of Fire in Pacific Ocean which is known for its active volcano zone. All these calamities resulted in very less land animal population. Thus, these people were primarily dependent on sea food for their survival. The most important prey were whales, sea otters and seals and fish such as cod, halibut, and salmon.


Aleutian people used to live in houses called Barabaras. Aleutian island was having lack of trees so timber was not used for making house. These people used to build their house by using Whale bones. Aleutian families were quite large and evidence suggests that more than 100 people accommodated in a single house. These families conducted activities like sea mammal hunting with harpoons, tool making, fishing, tailoring clothes from bird kin and mammal skin. These houses also ensured a controlled temperature within its boundaries. These people used to burn oil lamps to centrally heat their houses.


These people also created various tools and weapons. It is hard to know what exactly these people made because with the passage of time almost every artifact created by them is destroyed. Few excavations in this region have revealed items like  barbed harpoons, projectile points, drills, ground stone bowls, knives, lamps, net weight and stone sinkers, fishhooks, wooden and bone artifacts. This proves the fact that these people were having extraordinary tool technology. Most of the tools were mady Ivory or Bone. These tools ensured a safe environment for the aluet people.

Archeological sites

There are various sites found belonging to this culture.

The Anangula site is located in Umnak island, a small island of the Aleutian archipelago, off the coast of the Alaska peninsula.

It is believed that this site was firstly inhabited in the year 6000BC. There are many tools like hammerstones, projectile points, large blades and knives sealed are found in this site.

The Chaluka site is located in the mountainous island of Unmak, in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska.

It is believed that this site was firstly inhabited in the year 2000BC. It was exactly a village with houses made up of whale bones. It was discovered in the year 1938 by W.S. Laughlin and Jean Aigner


The Russians found Aleut people in 1750AD. It is believed that most of their population was destroyed by massacre and disease.

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