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A Millennium of Fishing: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Faunal Remains from the Shaktoolik Airport Site (NOB-072), Norton Sound, Alaska

Author(s): Jason Miszaniec

Year: 2017

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Summary

Contemporary economic and subsistence fisheries are a significant resource in Norton Sound, Alaska. Artifacts and faunal remains recovered from test excavations at the Shaktoolik Airport site (NOB-072) demonstrate that indigenous peoples have been fishing in the region for at least the last millennium. We aim to trace the regional development of fishing strategies, and how they were influenced by demographic and climactic changes by comparing over ten thousand faunal remains collected in-situ and from bulk soil samples from three discrete cultural occupations: 1)Thule/Nukleet, AD 1000-1400; 2) Yup’ik, AD 1400-1800, 3) Inupiat, AD 1800-1900). An analysis of early Thule assemblages will shed light on the development of Yup’ik coastal and riverine adaptions. Preliminary data indicate that fish counts as well as species-richness increased from early to late Yup’ik occupations and subsequently declined during the historic Inupiat habitation. Hunter–gatherer fishing economies represent a specialized subsistence strategy. The stability and predictability of fish is attributed to increases in populations as well as higher degrees of sedentisim. Because of its technological investment and demographic implications, tracing the origins and development of fishing economies is of key interest in coastal archaeological research.


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A Millennium of Fishing: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Faunal Remains from the Shaktoolik Airport Site (NOB-072), Norton Sound, Alaska. Jason Miszaniec. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429123)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14717

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