Morphological and Functional Analyses of Northern Archaic Side Notched Bifaces

Author(s): Kaitlyn Fuqua

Year: 2017


The Northern Archaic tradition (6,000-1,500 years BP) represents one of the longest cultural continuities in central and northern Alaska, characterized through continuity in lithic technology, basic settlement, and subsistence patterns. However, this tradition does not have clearly defined characteristics and is commonly used to describe any site in central and northern Alaska with side notched bifaces present in the tool assemblage. Few studies have been performed on the morphological and functional traits of Northern Archaic side notched bifaces, despite their prevalence in the archaeological record in Alaska. This poster presents morphological and functional analyses performed on over 300 side notched bifaces from 107 sites assigned to the Northern Archaic Tradition, across central and northern Alaska. Variation in tool shape was measured using geometric morphometrics, and landmark placement designed to characterize basal morphology allowed the analysis to include tool fragments. Functional analyses included macroscopic usewear and examination of impact fractures. This exploratory study examines Northern Archaic toolkit variation and risk mitigation strategies related to technological continuity and diversification, as well as a spatial examination of Northern Archaic sites across Alaska.

Cite this Record

Morphological and Functional Analyses of Northern Archaic Side Notched Bifaces. Kaitlyn Fuqua. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429497)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16192