Test 3 Lecture 28
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Test 3 Lecture 28
The Peopling of the Arctic
harshest living conditions on earth
survival requires knowledge, specialized skill, versatility and seasonality know how
area north of 66⁰ 33’N (the Arctic Circle).
Includes Canada, Alaska, Russia, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland
Most of the area is located above the
, which follows the
(latitude that has the same temperature) along the Arctic Circle.
Temperatures average -40⁰ C
(-40⁰ F) in winter and about 10⁰ C (50⁰ F) in the summer.
Precipitation is low
, average less than 20 inches a year, primarily as snow
Vegetation consists of small shrubs, lichens, mosses, and herbs, and is representative of tundra environments further south.
Plant life becomes increasingly sparse further north and eventually dissipates altogether.
low arctic has much more vegetation
low arctic is in the south
further north the more scare vegetation is
include fox, caribou, muskox, arctic squirrel, wolf, hare, lemming small members of the rodentia andermine families
include seal, walrus, beluga, narwhal, baleen whale, Greenland shark,and killer whale.
include auk, puffin, snow owl, and about 54 other species
Late Arrival: The Peopling of the Arctic
Arctic populated because of harsh environment.
unclear if migration into North America occurred from the south or if people came across the ice and waters of Siberia.
After initial migration into North America archaeologists identified three separate northerly migrations.
(1)- 11,000 years ago into Yukon and Alaska
(2)- 8000 years ago into the Barren Grounds west of Hudson Bay
(3)- 9000 years ago along the Atlantic coast.
Arctic Small Tools Tradition (ASTt)
distinctive micro-lithic industry penetrates the Arctic Circle.
Characterized by micro-blades, scrapers, and burins as small as 2 centimeters
Origins are unclear.
Two major traditions
Independence I Culture of the High Arctic, and Pre-Dorset of the Low Arctic.
Independence I (2000-1700)
defined by Eigil Knuth (1903-1996) discovered evidence of early occupation along the beaches.
apart of Danish Pearyland Expedition to Independence Fjord in 1948
1st evidence of human occupation in the arctic
Evidence included microliths, bone needles, and hearths.
Independence I camps identified on Ellesmere, Devon, and Cornwallis islands in the Canadian High Arctic.
small camps consisting of small box-shaped hearth made from stone slabs set upright on a gravel beach.
In a few cases a second row of slabs have been erected and the gravel between them
and the hearth smoothed over to make sleeping areas, with a narrow rim of gravel forming a perimeter to hold down a tent or skin shelter.
Dispersed distribution of short-term campsites.
Port Refuge, Devon Island, has over 100 camps along 20 kilometers.
identifiable in the high arctic because of lack of vegetation and biomass to push the materials underground
Pre-Dorset 1700-800 BC
Centered in the region of northern Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Foxe Basin, which is a much richer biosphere.
Considered ancestral to the later Dorset cultures of the eastern Arctic.
In comparison to Independence I, Pre-Dorset microblades and burins are smaller, occasionally ground or polished on one surface.
harpoon tools change - more rigorous
In this they resemble materials from western Alaska, suggesting an early migration eastwards around 2000 BC.
Camp sites change to more clustered and more circular features, often with boulders to hold down the tent structure
Soap-stone lamps used to burn blubber.