The Environmental Context of the Dorset-Thule Transition: Evidence from Stable Isotope Analysis of Archaeofauna
Author(s): Paul Szpak
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of fauna from archaeological sites in the Central Canadian Arctic Archipelago were performed to examine the environmental context of the Dorset-Thule transition. Isotopic data from a large number of ringed seals demonstrate that there was a reduction in the importance of primary production derived from sea ice-associated algae during the Thule occupation relative to the earlier Dorset occupation; these data are consistent with an increase in open water conditions at this time. Arctic foxes from Thule sites consumed significantly more marine protein than those from Late Dorset sites, which would have been obtained from scavenged marine mammals killed by humans and polar bears. This shift was most likely driven by the deposition of bowhead whale carcasses on the landscape by the Thule, which altered the foraging ecology of the Arctic fox.
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The Environmental Context of the Dorset-Thule Transition: Evidence from Stable Isotope Analysis of Archaeofauna. Paul Szpak. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443252)
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min long: -169.453; min lat: 50.513 ; max long: -49.043; max lat: 72.712 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21350