Anthropology 2230F/G Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Bering Sea, Cold Trap, Birnirk Culture

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Published on 11 May 2013
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Arctic Archaeology Midterm Review
Hunter Gatherer Mobility
o Theory by Lewis Binford
o Residential Mobility
Moving residence after resources at a location are exhausted
o Logistical Mobility
Move residence less often
In a more central location and send out task groups
Resources are brought back to base camp
Also involves caching and storing
Radiocarbon Dating
o Marine Reservoir Effect
Different proportions of C14 to C12 in marine environments vs.
terrestrial
Difficult to calibrate
o Driftwood
Can drift in ocean for long time before used by people
Gives a date that is too old
Best to use dwarf willow for dating
o Slow/No Soil Development
Cannot use superposition
Called palimpsest
Technological vs. Cultural Change
o Does change in one always mean change in the other?
Early Arctic Prehistory
o 2 main language groups: Eskimo and Aleut
Very different from each other
o Stone Tools & Lithic Technology
Reductive technology
How?
Hammerstone for rough shaping
Soft Hammer for fine shaping
Pressure Flaker for sharpening
o Types of Tools/Terms
Core: raw material (stone)
Flake: discarded pieces
Biface: flaked on 2 surfaces
Blade: long, linear flake
Microblade: small blade
Burin: tool for working hard organic materials
End blade: stone point for arming tip of composite tool
Side blade: set in the side of composite tool
Earliest Occupation
o 30,000 15,000 BP
o Roots in Siberia
o Diukati Culture
22,000 10,000 BP
Bifacial points, microblades, blades, scrapers, burins
o Sumnagin Culture
10,000 6,000 BP
Choppers, scrapers, microblades
Paleoarctic Tradition
o Begins 10,000 BP
o Early sites in the glacial refugia
o Evidence:
Microblades
Small wedge-shaped microblade cores
Burins
Generalized bifaces
Few projectile points
o Ends circa 4,000 BP
Denali Complex
o Central Alaska/Western Yukon
o Begins around 10,000 BP (maybe earlier)
o Side-notched or stemmed stone projectiles
Arctic Small Tool Tradition (ASTt)
o Origins in Siberia or Bering Strait
o Early ASTt (Paleo-Eskimo)
Highly nomadic (residential mobility)
Primarily terrestrial hunting, some marine
No direct evidence for boats
Limited evidence for dogs
Bow technology
Also used for drilling
Very small tools
Microblades, end/side blades, burins, scrapers, adzes
o Denbigh Flint Complex
Central and coastal Alaska (along rivers)
5,000 3,000 BP
Microblades, burins, end/side scrapers, lances, harpoons
Fire-cracked pebbles
Dwellings vary: semi-subterranean winter, small tents for
summer
o Independence I
Northern Greenland, Ellesmere Island, Devon Island,
Cornwallis Island
4,500/4,000 3,700 BP
Similar to Denbigh: burins, microblades, end scrapers, end
blades
Different: serrated edges, tapering stem
Mid-passage dwellings
Tent rings with axial feature
Evidence for snow dwellings
Sites infrequent and far apart
o Pre-Dorset
Central and eastern Canadian Arctic and Greenland; core area
Hudson Strait and Baffin Island
4,500-4,000/2,700 BP
More similar to Denbigh Flint Complex
Tents oval and circular
First evidence of soapstone lamps
Toggling harpoon heads
o Saqqaq/Sarqaq
West and southeast Greenland
3,800-2,700 BP
Similar to Pre-Dorset
Box hearths with no mid-passage
Later ASTt
o Increased reliance on coastal resources
o Lack of bow technology
o Independence II
3,000-2,500 BP
High Arctic and Greenland
Dwellings very similar to Independence I
Dispersed settlement pattern
Artifacts
Strong similarities to Pre-Dorset
Toggling harpoon heads, end blades, lances, etc.
Changes
Burin-like tools (BLTs) replace burins (ground not
flaked)
o Dorset
2,800-1,000 BP
developed in situ from Pre-Dorset area; far south as
Newfoundland
Newfoundland: 2,500 to 1,500 BP
High Arctic: 1,500 to 1,000 BP
Central Arctic: 2,500-1,900 & 1,500-1,000 BP
Logistical mobility
Adapted to life on winter ice
Emphasis on coastal resources
Larger, more permanent dwellings and communities
Increased use of soapstone lamps
BLTs replaced by burins
Tip-fluting for sharpening

Document Summary

Hunter gatherer mobility: theory by lewis binford, residential mobility. Moving residence after resources at a location are exhausted: logistical mobility. In a more central location and send out task groups. Resources are brought back to base camp. Different proportions of c14 to c12 in marine environments vs. terrestrial. Can drift in ocean for long time before used by people. Gives a date that is too old. Best to use dwarf willow for dating: slow/no soil development. Early arctic prehistory: 2 main language groups: eskimo and aleut. Very different from each other: stone tools & lithic technology. Pressure flaker for sharpening: types of tools/terms. Burin: tool for working hard organic materials. End blade: stone point for arming tip of composite tool. Side blade: set in the side of composite tool. Earliest occupation: 30,000 15,000 bp, roots in siberia, diukati culture. Bifacial points, microblades, blades, scrapers, burins: sumnagin culture. Paleoarctic tradition: begins 10,000 bp, early sites in the glacial refugia, evidence: