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Arctic Ceramic Traditions and Late Holocene Social Interaction; Revisiting Giddings’ Arctic Woodland Culture

Author(s): Shelby Anderson

Year: 2016

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In 1952, J.L. Giddings defined the Arctic Woodland Culture as a unique northwestern Alaskan inland lifeway combining elements of both Eskimo and Athabascan cultures between approximately 800 BP and the contact era. He proposed that Arctic Woodland people were closely tied to both coast and interior through seasonal movements and exchange systems, and hypothesized these ties made a semi-permanent lifeway along the river possible. Subsequent research refined local chronologies and raised new questions about coastal-inland relationships during the socially and environmentally dynamic Late Holocene period. This paper explores evidence for coastal-interior interaction in northwest Alaska through analyses of ceramic distribution patterns. I will review results of new fieldwork on Giddings' sites along the Kobuk River and ceramic compositional analyses of his collections, along with new ceramic thermo-luminescence dates from Arctic Woodland sites. My results point to several distinct patterns of coastal-inland interaction that changed over time, supporting Giddings' hypothesis that a distinct Kobuk River ceramic tradition existed during the Arctic Woodland period. These findings have broad implications for Late Holocene Arctic social interaction and change.

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Arctic Ceramic Traditions and Late Holocene Social Interaction; Revisiting Giddings’ Arctic Woodland Culture. Shelby Anderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403991)


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