Introducing "Envisioning and Re-envisioning Arctic Archaeology: The Enduring Legacies of J. Louis Giddings (1909-1964)"

Author(s): Kevin Smith; Douglas Anderson

Year: 2016


J. Louis Giddings' (1909-1964) pioneering archaeological research in the Arctic integrated natural science perspectives with archaeological investigations, ethnographic and folkloric research, collaboration with indigenous communities, and experimentation with cutting-edge methods. He introduced dendrochronology and dendroclimatology to Arctic archaeology, developed the concept of "beach ridge archaeology"—using the sequential formation of maritime beach ridges to date relatively archaeological sites upon them, discovered the Denbigh Flint complex—paving the way for understanding ASTt connections from eastern Siberia to Greenland, established the western Arctic's Holocene archaeological sequence through research at Cape Krusenstern and Onion Portage—the first deeply stratified interior archaeological site investigated in Alaska, and brought his findings to scientific and public attention through scientific articles, popular books, and Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Since Giddings' death in 1964, his perspectives, students, and collections have guided or influenced northern research. This introduction contextualizes Giddings' research and life in his times, when northern research was considerably different than we find it today, discusses the extent of the collections and archives he generated and asks what can still be done with these, with the sites he investigated, and with the concepts on which his research was based as our field sets new priorities for northern research.

Cite this Record

Introducing "Envisioning and Re-envisioning Arctic Archaeology: The Enduring Legacies of J. Louis Giddings (1909-1964)". Kevin Smith, Douglas Anderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403995)


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