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Cutmarks on Prehistoric Alcidae Tibiotarsi in the Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Author(s): Joshua Howard ; Caroline Funk ; Debra Corbett ; Brian Hoffman ; Ariel Taivalkoski

Year: 2017

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The Rat Islands Research Project (2009-2014) examined pre-contact era Aleut/Unangan archaeological sites on Hawadax and Kiska Islands to test hypotheses about Aleut impacts on and intersections with the environment. The 2003 test excavations at RAT-081 on Hawadax Islands resulted in the recovery of more than 6,000 remarkably well-preserved faunal specimens, which date from 2500 to 250 years ago and include fish, sea mammal, and bird species. The 2104 test excavation at KIS-050 on Kiska Island resulted in the recovery of more than 10,000 specimens, also dating from about 2500 to 250 years ago. More than 50% of the faunal materials are avian. Within the avian portion, many of the Alcidae tibiotarsi exhibit cut marks resulting from skinning, butchery, or consumption. This poster will focus on the large number of cut Alcidae tibiotarsi and discuss Aleut subsistence and cultural practices by examining the archaeological remains as well as ethnographic sources.

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Cutmarks on Prehistoric Alcidae Tibiotarsi in the Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Joshua Howard, Caroline Funk, Debra Corbett, Brian Hoffman, Ariel Taivalkoski. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430222)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17525

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