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Caribou Exploitation Dynamics and Antler Tool Production in Late Thule Occupation of the Kvichak River Drainage, SW Alaska

Author(s): Michael Farrell ; David Yesner ; Daniel Monteith

Year: 2015

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Summary

Late Thule occupation of the Kvichak/Naknek River drainage systems has been attributed to northward migrating human populations deriving from the Kodiak archipelago region, assumed to be salmon fishers and sea mammal hunters displaced by human population growth at the end of the Medieval Climatic Optimum and beginning of the Little Ice Age (LIA). However, caribou hunting seems also to have played an important role in some areas, particularly at the intersection of appropriate habitat and migration routes along the Kvichak drainage. Here, late Thule populations, representing ancestral groups to contemporary Yup'ik peoples, appear to have developed intensive hunting of all ages and sexes of caribou, following a classical catastrophic (non-attritional) pattern. Intensive antler and bone workshops for organic tool production may reflect centers of widespread trade networks, perhaps involving both Yup'ik and Athabascan groups in this cultural periphery zone. These patterns became attenuated with post-LIA climatic change.

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Caribou Exploitation Dynamics and Antler Tool Production in Late Thule Occupation of the Kvichak River Drainage, SW Alaska. David Yesner, Michael Farrell, Daniel Monteith. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395756)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Arctic


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

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