"Untangling the timbers": New Perspectives on Birnirk Architecture in Northwestern Alaska
Birnirk culture is well-known for driftwood structures that were repeatedly re-assembled to form low mounds. The structures were "hopeless tangle[s] of logs" to pioneering 1930s archaeologists whose reports lack details on construction techniques. Birnirk houses diverge from the preceding Old Bering Sea and later Thule single room houses with lengthy entrance tunnels. Our 2016 fieldwork "followed the wood," employing enhanced photography within two exceptionally preserved houses at Cape Espenberg, to infer Birnirk architectural strategies and used diagnostic assemblages to refine cultural filiations by comparison to Siberian Birnirk, and the transition to Thule through a high-resolution, tree-ring and 14 C, chronology.
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"Untangling the timbers": New Perspectives on Birnirk Architecture in Northwestern Alaska. Claire Alix, Owen Mason, Lauren Norman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429130)
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min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15751