What can archaeobotanical remains from exceptionally well preserved contexts tell us about past arctic life-ways?
Anthropological studies of western Alaska consistently remark upon the substantial knowledge of the regional flora by local Eskimo groups. Despite the attritional impact of Western lifestyles on traditional ecological knowledge, the indigenous peoples of the region maintain a rich appreciation of the plant resources available in their local environment. Yet, archaeobotanical analyses from the region remain scarce and there rests a general opinion that plants did not play an important role in past Eskimo subsistence. Faunal analyses and isotopic studies which indicate a predominately marine diet entrench this assumption, but they do not present the whole picture. Ethnography demonstrates that plants were not only integral to Eskimo diets, but they also served ceremonial and utilitarian functions. Using the exceptionally well-preserved botanical macro-remains from 14th to 17th century sod structures at Nunalleq in southwestern Alaska, this paper aims to establish the role of plants in past Arctic life-ways.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- Human-Environment Interactions & Human Ecology in Western Arctic Prehistory
Cite this Record
What can archaeobotanical remains from exceptionally well preserved contexts tell us about past arctic life-ways?. Paul Ledger, Veronique Forbes. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395824)
North America - NW Coast/Alaska
min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;