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Evaluating Prehistoric Sea Ice Variability and Culture Change in Northwest Alaska

Archaeological fauna as paleo-ice proxy
Provide long term info on human scale and dimension
Test hypotheses of cultural interaction
Lessons of adaptation and resiliency- challenges and possibilities

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Evaluating Prehistoric Sea Ice Variability and Culture Change in Northwest Alaska






Presentation on theme: "Evaluating Prehistoric Sea Ice Variability and Culture Change in Northwest Alaska"— Presentation transcript:

Slide1

Evaluating Prehistoric Sea Ice Variability and Culture Change in Northwest Alaska

Adam Freeburg

University of

Washington

Seattle, USA

Slide2

Slide3

Archaeology provides...

Long term perspective

Interdisciplinarity

Human aspect

Slide4

Orthophoto

Manley et al.

2007

Slide5

Ice as

medium for...

Subsistence

TransportationLiving

http://vilda.alaska.edu

Slide6

Ice as

part of...

Subsistence Change

Culture changeSocial Upheaval

Reconstructing the “icescape”

http://vilda.alaska.edu

Slide7

Paleo

- proxies in NW Alaska

Tree rings

Pollen

Beach ridgesArchaeological fauna

Slide8

Ringed Seal-

Natchiq

(

Phoca

hispida

)

Prefers fast

ice

Sub-

nivean

lairs for birthing, nursing

Shorter ice duration can have impact on pup health, survival

Bearded Seal-

Ugruk

(

Erignathus

barbatus

)

Prefers

pack ice

Birthing, nursing on floes

Available only when pack ice is accessible from land (spring or autumn)

Photos: National Geographic

Fauna as Ice Proxy

Slide9

Fauna as Ice Proxy

Ipiutak

A.D. 450-650

Thule

A.D. 1000-1200

Slide10

Fauna as Ice Proxy

Ringed:Bearded

seal ratio change

Variability of ice extent/duration

Chronological resolution on human scale

Slide11

Ipiutak

(A.D. 450)

Thule

(A.D.

1000)

Kotzebue

(A.D. 1400)

Slide12

Ringed seal isotopes

(

Strathe

2007)

Increase in δ15N: widening diet

Decrease in

δ

1

3

C:

declining productivity

Productivity tied to timing, extent of sea

ice

Slide13

Summary

Archaeological fauna as

paleo

-ice proxy

Provide long term info on human scale and dimensionTest hypotheses of cultural interactionLessons of adaptation and resiliency- challenges and possibilities

Slide14

Acknowledgements

NRF: Young Researcher Fellowship

NPS

:

Alaska Regional Office and Western Arctic Parklands staff

UW: Ben Fitzhugh,

Shelby Anderson,

2008-2010 crews, and CAKR Lab students

Herbert Foster,

Krusenstern

community, and

Native Village

of Kotzebue

Slide15