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The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic

Series: Oxford Handbooks

By: T Max Friesen(Editor), Owen K Mason(Editor)

1000 pages, 115 illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Oct 2016 | #233281 | ISBN-13: 9780199766956
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £115.00 $151/€131 approx

About this book

The North American Arctic was one of the last regions on Earth to be settled by humans, due to its extreme climate, limited range of resources, and remoteness from populated areas. Despite these factors, it holds a complex and lengthy history relating to Inuit, Iñupiat, Inuvialuit, Yup'ik and Aleut peoples and their ancestors. The artifacts, dwellings, and food remains of these ancient peoples are remarkably well-preserved due to cold temperatures and permafrost, allowing archaeologists to reconstruct their lifeways with great accuracy. Furthermore, the combination of modern Elders' traditional knowledge with the region's high resolution ethnographic record allows past peoples' lives to be reconstructed to a level simply not possible elsewhere. Combined, these factors yield an archaeological record of global significance – the Arctic provides ideal case studies relating to issues as diverse as the impacts of climate change on human societies, the complex process of interaction between indigenous peoples and Europeans, and the dynamic relationships between environment, economy, social organization, and ideology in hunter-gatherer societies.

In the The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic, each arctic cultural tradition is described in detail, with up-to-date coverage of recent interpretations of all aspects of their lifeways. Additional chapters cover broad themes applicable to the full range of arctic cultures, such as trade, stone tool technology, ancient DNA research, and the relationship between archaeology and modern arctic communities. The resulting volume, written by the region's leading researchers, contains by far the most comprehensive coverage of arctic archaeology ever assembled.


- Archaeology of the North American Arctic: Introduction…T. Max Friesen and Owen K. Mason

Cross-Cutting Themes
- Molecular Genetic Evidence for the Origins of North American Populations…Rohina C. Rubicz and Michael H. Crawford
- Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopes: Windows on Arctic Prehistory…Justin Tackney, Joan Coltrain, Jennifer Raff, and Dennis O'Rourke
- Zooarchaeology and the Reconstruction of Ancient Human-Animal Relationships in the Arctic…Matthew W. Betts
- A Critical Resource: Wood Use and Technology in the North American Arctic…Claire Alix
- Archaeological Evidence for Transport, Trade and Exchange in the North American Arctic…Jeffrey T. Rasic
- Palaeoeskimo Lithic Technology…Pierre M. Desrosiers and Mikkel Sørensen
- Arctic Archaeometallurgy…H. Kory Cooper
- Archaeology and Native Northerners: The Rise of Community-Based Practice Across the North American Arctic…Natasha Lyons

Western Arctic
- First Traces: Late Pleistocene Human Settlement of the Arctic…Ted Goebel and Ben A. Potter
- The Origins and Development of Arctic Maritime Adaptations in the Pacific Subarctic…Ben Fitzhugh
- First Maritime Cultures of the Aleutians…Richard Davis, Richard Knecht, and Jason Rogers
- Maritime Economies of the Central Gulf of Alaska after 4,000 BP…Amy Steffian, Patrick Saltonstall, and Linda Finn Yarborough
- Archaeology of the Eastern Aleut Region…Herbert D. G. Maschner
- The Denbigh Flint Complex of Northern Alaska…Andrew H. Tremayne and Jeffrey T. Rasic
- The Enigmatic Choris and Old Whaling Cultures of the Western Arctic…Christyann M. Darwent and John Darwent
- Norton Hunters and Fisherfolk of Southern Alaska…Don E. Dumond
- The Old Bering Sea Florescence about Bering Strait…Owen K. Mason
- From the Norton Culture to the Ipiutak Cult in northwest Alaska…Owen K. Mason
- Ancient Eskimo Cultures of Chukotka…Mikhail M. Bronshtein, Kirill A. Dneprovsky, and Arkady B. Savinetsky
- Thule Origins in the Old Bering Sea culture: The Inter-relationship of Punuk and Birnirk cultures…Owen K. Mason
- Archaeology of the Late Western Thule/Inupiat in North Alaska (AD 1300-1750)…Anne M. Jensen
- Holocene Prehistory of the Northwestern Subarctic…Ben A. Potter
- The Precontact History of Subarctic Northwest Canada…Glen MacKay and Thomas D. Andrews
- Development of Mackenzie Inuit Culture…Charles Arnold
- The Aleutian Tradition: The Last 4000 years…Debra Corbett and Michael Yarborough
- Contact and Post-Contact Iñupiat Ethnohistory…Anne M. Jensen and Glenn W. Sheehan

Eastern Arctic
- Reconstructing Middle and Late Holocene Paleoclimates of the Eastern Arctic and Greenland…Sarah A. Finkelstein
- Pan-Arctic Population Movements: The Early Paleo-Inuit and Thule Inuit Migrations…T. Max Friesen
- Pre-Dorset culture…S. Brooke Milne and Robert W. Park
- Independence I and Saqqaq: The First Greenlanders…Bjarne Grønnow
- Greenlandic Dorset…Jens Fog Jensen
- The 'Dorset Problem' Revisited - the Transitional and Early and Middle Dorset Periods in the Eastern Arctic…Karen Ryan
- Late Dorset…Martin Appelt, Eric Damkjar, and T. Max Friesen
- The Dorset-Thule Transition…Robert W. Park
- Classic Thule [Classic Precontact Inuit]…Peter Whitridge
- Labrador Inuit: thriving on the periphery of the Inuit world…Susan A. Kaplan and James M. Woollett
- Development of Polar Inughuit Culture in the Smith Sound Region…Genevieve M. LeMoine and Christyann M. Darwent
- Inuit-European Interactions in Greenland…Hans Christian Gulløv
- Thule-Inuit succession in the Central Arctic…Peter Dawson
- Archaeology of the Inuit of Southern Labrador and the Quebec Lower North Shore…William W. Fitzhugh

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T. Max Friesen is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Owen K. Mason is a Research Affiliate at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

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