The Kodiak Hoard: Copper coins reveal Russia’s ‘American’ past

| April 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
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By Robert Lewis Knecht

The Kodiak Hoard: Copper coins

Kopek Russian coins feature the date and Catherine the Great’s monogram; the Romanov coat of arms featuring a double-headed eagle emblem, which has been found in archaeological digs dating to 3,800 B.C.; and Saint George slaying the Dragon (arrow), a legend of Eastern origin. Grasped in the eagle’s right talon is the “globus cruciger,” an orb with a cross on top. It symbolized Christ’s dominion over the world. In the left talon is the royal scepter, symbolizing the power of the ruler.

When I talk about history to Americans, I often find that we have an “us and them” attitude about other nations and cultures. It is a sad reflection on our educational system that it often does not teach us the connections between the United States and other countries.

For instance, we often think of Russia only in terms of the Cold War or USSR period; spy planes flying over Siberia or Moscow; Red Square; the KGB… all on a continent far away. But when was the last time we gave any thought to Russia owning and governing land in North America?

Have you ever heard of Kenai, Alaska? How about Seward, Alaska? “Kenai people” was the name Russian fur traders gave to the native Dena’ina people when they landed on the peninsula in 1741. It derives from a Russian word that meant “people of the flats.

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Robert Lewis Knecht is the owner of Cannon Beach Treasure Co. and can be reached attreasure@cannonbeachtreasure.com.

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