Migration and Isolation in the Okhotsk Tradition of Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands


Northern people are known for epic migrations such as the Pleistocene colonization of Eurasian Arctic and Movement into North America as well as multiple migration episdoes across the North American Arctic in the late Holocene. In this paper we look at the subarctic Sea of Okhotsk region and patterns of mobility within the Okhotsk tradition from 500-1300 C.E. Using lead (Pb) and strontium (Sr) isotopes, we reveal unexpected differences in lifetime stationary residence vs. relocation of "Okhotsk" individuals in different times and locations. We report difference between regions and time periods in local vs. non-local residence, including an unexpected long-distance migration of numerous individuals to Hokkaido from the NE Asian mainland sometime between the 7th and 10th century. From this research, we see a complex picture emerging of heterogenous demographics, asymmetric connectivity and isolation during this interval. This evidence is considered in the context of broader patterns of social interaction and mobility in Northeast Asia and the Bering Strait region at approximately the same time.

Cite this Record

Migration and Isolation in the Okhotsk Tradition of Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands. Ben Fitzhugh, Hiroko Ono, Tetsuya Amano, John Krigbaum, George Kamenov. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429109)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13234