Uelen (Chukotka Russia)
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Uelen (aka "Ugelen" and "Whalen") is a port village in Chukotsky District (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia's Far East, Asia) with population under 1,000. The settlement is located close to Cape Dezhnev (where Bering Sea meets Chukchi Sea). The village is the easternmost in Russia (Eurasia) and also the nearest to USA Russian settlement. It lies on the northeastern corner of Uelen Lagoon (roughly 15x3 km / 9x2 mi east-west) which is separated by a sandspit from the Pacific Oocean.
The Uelen village is famous for its hand-made walrus ivory carvings. Uelen Bone Carving Studio contains the only museum of Walrus ivory carving in the world. Uelen is also home to indigenous choir with history of cultural copartnership with Inuit across Bering Strait in Alaska.
The village serves as the base for archaeological expeditions to the region, which discovered burial ground (from 500 BC to 1000 AD) with over 300 burials of Early Whale Hunter culture. The excavations have shown that Uelen was a major settlement during the first few centuries AD and the existence of culture-dependent on walrus and whale hunting. Archeologists also unearthed examples of ivory carvings of the indigenous people, some of which are displayed at Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St Petersburg.
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