Siberia and Alaska - the rugged and remote lands that rim the North Pacific - were among the last regions
on earth to be described by Western explorers and cartographers, or to be coveted in the courts of Europe and Russia. The
North Pacific remained a great blank on world maps until well into the 18th century, less known to outsiders than the
unexplored heart of Africa. Yet this vast northern wilderness of mountains, forests, tundra and ice, geographically linking
the continents of Eurasia and North America, was in no sense an uninviting wasteland.|
Human populations began moving into Northeastern Siberia over 16,000 years ago from the more temperate regions of eastern Asia, spreading north and east with the passing of the last Ice Age until they crossed into the Americas via Alaska. That great migration was only the beginning of the story...
Crossroads of Continents combines modern research in North Pacific anthropology and archeology with the presentation of many important objects from early collections. This exhibition attempts to capture the wide diversity of North Pacific cultures as well as their historical development from the end of the last Ice Age to the modern day. The original exhibit traveled through the United States and will soon be on tour in Russia.
This exhibit has been recreated in a "virtual" architectural space that exists only as a set of coordinates in a computer 3D modelling program. You can wander through this "museum" with a few clicks of the mouse. Our introductory offering consists of a view of the outside of the building and the first room of the exhibit, the "Hall of the People." The architecture of this space was designed to reflect elements of the building styles of the peoples of the Crossroads area, including hooped hemispherical construction, locally available materials, arched entrance passages, and the roof-holes commonly used to symbolize passage between the worlds and between different states of being.
We invite you to enter the exhibition...
Once you enter the exhibit, you'll see a "viewport" on the left side of the screen that shows what you see as you wander through the museum. Clicking in this image will move your viewpoint in the direction you click in (i.e., clicking on the right side of the image moves you to the right, clicking on the left moves you to the left, etc.). Just below this image is a navigation bar (based on an ivory "drillbow" from the original exhibit), which will have other options for movement through the exhibit; just click on the option of your choice.