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Next-generation sequencing unravels the relationship of Paleoeskimo and Thule dogs from the North American Arctic

Author(s): Christyann Darwent ; Sarah Brown ; Ben Sacks

Year: 2015

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The peopling of the North American Arctic, occurred in two waves. First the Paleoeskimo people migrated from Siberia roughly 4,000 BP, followed by the Thule people ca. 1000 BP. The Thule people are known for their innovation and rapid colonization of the North American Arctic, compared to small population sizes of the Paleoeskimo. A distinguishing characteristic of Thule culture relative to previous Arctic cultures was increased use of dogs, particularly for dogsled traction. Use of dogs by the Thule is reflected in the archaeological record by a dramatic increase in dog remains in zooarchaeological assemblages. Here, we present results from an Arctic wide survey of over ~500 ancient dog samples and analysis of the temporal and spatial distribution of dog remains and their genetic characteristics. We compare diversity of both whole mitochondrial genomes and the D-loop region in Thule and Paleoeskimo dogs from Siberia, Alaska (interior as well as coastal), Canada, Greenland to assess origins, interchange, and changes through time. We show that, similar to their human companions, domestic dogs colonized the North American Arctic in two waves.

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Next-generation sequencing unravels the relationship of Paleoeskimo and Thule dogs from the North American Arctic. Sarah Brown, Christyann Darwent, Ben Sacks. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395589)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America