Preliminary archaeoentomological analyses of permafrost-preserved cultural layers from the pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo site of Nunalleq, Alaska: implications, potential and methodological considerations

Veronique Forbes, Kate Britton, Rick Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

At Nunalleq, a pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo village site in Alaska (14th-17th Century AD), abundant insect remains from highly organic substrates preserved within permafrost offer a unique opportunity to investigate past ecological and living conditions. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained from the analysis of two samples collected from floor layers in sod houses. The numerous and diverse insect remains highlight the exciting potential of archaeoentomology for reconstructing past ecological conditions, resource exploitation and the use of space at northern hunter-gatherer sites and have permitted the development of a strategy for the future collection of archaeoentomological data at permafrost-preserved sites in Alaska and elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date5 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Fingerprint

living conditions
permafrost
exploitation
village
contact
insect
hunter-gatherer
resources
substrate
Pre-contact
Layer
Eskimo
Insect Remains
analysis
living condition

Keywords

  • Archaeoentmology
  • Pre-contact Alaska
  • Ectoparasites
  • Methods

Cite this

@article{6d8278c0eff44faba07149e1cbd955cc,
title = "Preliminary archaeoentomological analyses of permafrost-preserved cultural layers from the pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo site of Nunalleq, Alaska: implications, potential and methodological considerations",
abstract = "At Nunalleq, a pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo village site in Alaska (14th-17th Century AD), abundant insect remains from highly organic substrates preserved within permafrost offer a unique opportunity to investigate past ecological and living conditions. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained from the analysis of two samples collected from floor layers in sod houses. The numerous and diverse insect remains highlight the exciting potential of archaeoentomology for reconstructing past ecological conditions, resource exploitation and the use of space at northern hunter-gatherer sites and have permitted the development of a strategy for the future collection of archaeoentomological data at permafrost-preserved sites in Alaska and elsewhere.",
keywords = "Archaeoentmology, Pre-contact Alaska, Ectoparasites, Methods",
author = "Veronique Forbes and Kate Britton and Rick Knecht",
note = "Acknowledgements Site excavation and samples collection were conducted by archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen, with the help of archaeologists and student excavators from the University of Aberdeen University of Alaska Fairbanks and Bryn Mawr College, Kuskokwim Campus, College of Rural Alaska and residents of Quinhagak and Mekoryuk. This study is funded through AHRC grant to the project ‘Understanding Cultural Resilience and Climate Change on the Bering Sea through Yup’ik Ecological Knowledge, Lifeways, Learning and Archaeology’ to Rick Knecht, Kate Britton and Charlotta Hillderal (University of Aberdeen; AH/K006029/1). Thanks are due to Qanirtuuq Inc. and Quinhagak, Alaska for sampling permissions and to entomologists working at the CNC in Ottawa for allowing access to reference collections of beetles, lice and fleas. Yves Bousquet, Ales Smetana and Anthony E. Davies are specially acknowledged for their help with the identification of coleopteran specimens. Finally, we would also like to thank Scott Elias for useful comments on the original manuscript.",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000037",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "158--167",
journal = "Environmental Archaeology",
issn = "1461-4103",
publisher = "Maney Publishing",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Preliminary archaeoentomological analyses of permafrost-preserved cultural layers from the pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo site of Nunalleq, Alaska

T2 - implications, potential and methodological considerations

AU - Forbes, Veronique

AU - Britton, Kate

AU - Knecht, Rick

N1 - Acknowledgements Site excavation and samples collection were conducted by archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen, with the help of archaeologists and student excavators from the University of Aberdeen University of Alaska Fairbanks and Bryn Mawr College, Kuskokwim Campus, College of Rural Alaska and residents of Quinhagak and Mekoryuk. This study is funded through AHRC grant to the project ‘Understanding Cultural Resilience and Climate Change on the Bering Sea through Yup’ik Ecological Knowledge, Lifeways, Learning and Archaeology’ to Rick Knecht, Kate Britton and Charlotta Hillderal (University of Aberdeen; AH/K006029/1). Thanks are due to Qanirtuuq Inc. and Quinhagak, Alaska for sampling permissions and to entomologists working at the CNC in Ottawa for allowing access to reference collections of beetles, lice and fleas. Yves Bousquet, Ales Smetana and Anthony E. Davies are specially acknowledged for their help with the identification of coleopteran specimens. Finally, we would also like to thank Scott Elias for useful comments on the original manuscript.

PY - 2015/5

Y1 - 2015/5

N2 - At Nunalleq, a pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo village site in Alaska (14th-17th Century AD), abundant insect remains from highly organic substrates preserved within permafrost offer a unique opportunity to investigate past ecological and living conditions. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained from the analysis of two samples collected from floor layers in sod houses. The numerous and diverse insect remains highlight the exciting potential of archaeoentomology for reconstructing past ecological conditions, resource exploitation and the use of space at northern hunter-gatherer sites and have permitted the development of a strategy for the future collection of archaeoentomological data at permafrost-preserved sites in Alaska and elsewhere.

AB - At Nunalleq, a pre-contact Yup’ik Eskimo village site in Alaska (14th-17th Century AD), abundant insect remains from highly organic substrates preserved within permafrost offer a unique opportunity to investigate past ecological and living conditions. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained from the analysis of two samples collected from floor layers in sod houses. The numerous and diverse insect remains highlight the exciting potential of archaeoentomology for reconstructing past ecological conditions, resource exploitation and the use of space at northern hunter-gatherer sites and have permitted the development of a strategy for the future collection of archaeoentomological data at permafrost-preserved sites in Alaska and elsewhere.

KW - Archaeoentmology

KW - Pre-contact Alaska

KW - Ectoparasites

KW - Methods

U2 - 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000037

DO - 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000037

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 158

EP - 167

JO - Environmental Archaeology

JF - Environmental Archaeology

SN - 1461-4103

IS - 2

ER -