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Prehistoric Foragers in the Central Alaska Range

Author(s): John Blong

Year: 2015

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Summary

Upland landscapes in the central Alaska Range play an important role in understanding prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement organization, subsistence activities, and lithic assemblage variability in interior Alaska. Previous research hypothesizes that late Pleistocene and early Holocene seasonal upland hunting conditioned lithic assemblages in the interior, and that seasonally available upland resources grew in importance through the middle and late Holocene, as interior foragers shifted to a logistically organized settlement system. To further evaluate these hypotheses, we conducted fieldwork in the upland upper Susitna River basin, central Alaska Range, to add to our knowledge of prehistoric forager activity in the understudied uplands of interior Alaska. This study utilizes paleoecological and geoarchaeological data from the Susitna study area to provide the ecological context for prehistoric upland landscape use. This study also incorporates site structure, faunal and lithic assemblage data from the study area to evaluate settlement organization and lithic assemblage variability in interior Alaska. This paper present the results of these analyses, focusing on understanding how foragers utilized upland landscapes from earliest colonization through the late Holocene, and the influence that ecological change and volcanism had on landscape use in the uplands of the central Alaska Range.

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Prehistoric Foragers in the Central Alaska Range. John Blong. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398386)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

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