Activity Areas or Conflict Episode? Interpreting the Spatial Patterning of Lice and Fleas at the Precontact Yup’ik Site of Nunalleq (16-17th Centuries AD, Alaska)

Veronique Forbes, J.-B. Huchet, Y A Gómez Coutouly, Julie Masson-MacLean, Edouard Masson-MacLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Archaeoentomological research at the precontact site of Nunalleq (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD), Southwest Alaska, has identified hundreds of lice and fleas that infested both the human inhabitants of the site and their canine companions. As lice are host specific, staying attached to the host’s hair or fur during the totality of their lifecycle, they are generally considered excellent indicators of activity areas. Fleas, however, are relatively less common in archaeological contexts and, since they are mobile and able to infest several different host species, their potential use in the spatial reconstruction of activities is more limited. At Nunalleq, the study of insects from the most recent archaeological contexts produced very different spatial distribution patterns for human lice, fleas, and dog lice. This article compares these archaeoentomological data with other datasets available for the site (carrion-feeding flies, human hair, fur, coprolites, projectile points, and pieces of clothing) with the aim of establishing the phenomena that produced the distinct spatial distributions observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-221
Number of pages25
JournalÉtudes Inuit Studies
Volume43
Issue number1-2
Early online date8 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Activity Areas or Conflict Episode? Interpreting the Spatial Patterning of Lice and Fleas at the Precontact Yup’ik Site of Nunalleq (16-17th Centuries AD, Alaska)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this