Thule Fuel Use at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, CE 1500-1700

Author(s): Laura Crawford; Claire Alix; Nancy Bigelow

Year: 2016


We examined fuel use practices at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, between 1500 and 1700 CE. We identified charcoal remains from two Thule-era houses of different ages and analyzed our results with univariate statistics. Results suggest that Cape Espenberg’s inhabitants were selective in choosing fuels, and discerned between different woody species, perhaps according to combustion properties. Furthermore, there appears to be a greater reliance on lesser-used fuel types in the younger of the two houses. This is significant, as it has been suggested that declining driftwood supplies contributed to the abandonment of Cape Espenberg. We suggest that the inhabitants of the younger house may have been actively conserving woody fuel, perhaps due to lesser access to driftwood resulting from climate change.

Cite this Record

Thule Fuel Use at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, CE 1500-1700. Laura Crawford, Claire Alix, Nancy Bigelow. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404543)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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