Shuká Káa - On Your Knees Cave

Shuka Kaa, On Your Knees Cave opening.
Shuká Káa (formerly On Your Knees) Cave opening.


10,300 BP
After years of study at On Your Knees Cave, paleontologists and archaeologists changed our understanding of the earliest Northwest Coast prehistory. Studies of stone tools, human bones, DNA, and bird and other animal bones found in and near On Your Knees Cave shed light on the environment of Prince of Wales Island during and after the last Ice Age; and the life of Shuká Káa, Man Ahead of Us, one of the first Alaskans who lived on the coast more than 10,000 years ago.


Site connection to the National Historic Preservation Act

Discovered during Section 106 survey prior to a timber sale. Section 106 and Section 110 work occurred after human remains were found and the site’s historical and cultural significance became known.


MP3 File Logo Site Overview

Read aloud by the Juneau Community Charter School 4/5 grade class.


For more information:


A Skeleton Found in a Cave Reveals a 10,000 Year Old Native Link to Southeast Alaska

Ancient Individuals from the North American Northwest Coast Reveal 10,000 years of Regional Genetic Continuity

Section 106 Success Story, Discoveries Open Insights Into Early History, Strengthen Tribal Relationships (PDF)

Shuká Káa is Given a Final Resting Place (PDF)

Working Together Now to Study the Past Poster


Kuwoot yas.ein: His Spirit is Looking Out from the Cave



Klawock Cooperative Association Logo.Craig Community Association Logo.Sealaska Logo.
University of Colorado Boulder Logo.
University of South Dakota Vermillion Logo.US Forest Service Shield.