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dc.contributor.authorSchmuck, Nicholas S.
dc.date.accessioned2021-12-01T22:46:18Z
dc.date.available2021-12-01T22:46:18Z
dc.date.issued2021-05
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/12567
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2021en_US
dc.description.abstractThe goal of this dissertation is to improve our understanding of human population expansions into unfamiliar environments, focusing on when and how humans adapted to the rich coastal landscape of Southeast Alaska. Investigation of the peopling of this region has been overshadowed by the broader narrative that the Americas may have been first colonized by a late Pleistocene coastal migration. Refinements to local sea-level and paleoecological chronologies help contextualize the dynamic landscape that these first inhabitants might have encountered, returning focus to the archaeology of Southeast Alaska itself. This research considers existing archaeological data within the theoretical framework of Human Behavioral Ecology, proposing new models to acknowledge the process of landscape learning. Landscape learning provides a mechanism for exploring human adaptation to unfamiliar landscapes, which in turn produces testable hypotheses based on the familiarity of colonizing human foragers with coastal environments. Systematic sourcing of obsidian microblade cores, ubiquitous in early Holocene sites, allows for a further assessment of landscape learning, alongside an evaluation of the relationship between local raw material constraints and technological organization. Though the oldest known archaeological sites in Southeast Alaska are firmly dated to between 10,500 and 10,000 cal BP, older occupations have been identified elsewhere on the Northwest Coast, and Tlingit and Haida oral histories record their presence on the landscape from Time Immemorial. Taken together, multiple lines of evidence point to an initial colonization of Southeast Alaska out of eastern Beringia, occurring prior to the occupation of the oldest known sites. By the early Holocene, foragers with a typical Northwest Coast diet were readily adapting to, but still in the process of learning, this complex coastal landscape. While these results challenge the long-established impression that the oldest known sites in the region represent a remnant population of maritime sea-mammal hunters descended from an earlier coastal migration into the Americas, this research highlights the opportunity to continue testing these hypotheses by targeting older, uplifted paleoshorelines.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipUniversity of Alaska Museum of the North Geist Fund Grant, the Alaska Quaternary Center, the Harvey Fields Fellowship, AlaskaView Research scholarship, and the Tongass National Forest Geology Program of the U.S. Forest Serviceen_US
dc.description.tableofcontentsChapter 1: Quantifying marine reservoir effect variability along the Northwest Coast of North America -- Chapter 2: Human behavioral ecology, landscape learning, and the coastal colonization of the Americas -- Chapter 3: Obsidian source classification and defining "local" in early holocene Southeast Alaska -- General conclusion.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectHuman ecologyen_US
dc.subjectSoutheast Alaskaen_US
dc.subjectPrehistoric peoplesen_US
dc.subjectHuman geographyen_US
dc.subjectPaleo-Indiansen_US
dc.subjectMigrationsen_US
dc.subjectCoastal settlementsen_US
dc.subjectHuman settlementsen_US
dc.subjectObsidian implementsen_US
dc.subjectMicrobladesen_US
dc.subjectStone implementsen_US
dc.subjectPrehistoric land settlement patternsen_US
dc.subjectLand discovery and explorationen_US
dc.subject.otherDoctor of Philosophy in Anthropologyen_US
dc.titleContextualizing the development of coastal adaptations in postglacial Southeast Alaskaen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.type.degreephden_US
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Anthropologyen_US
dc.contributor.chairReuther, Joshua
dc.contributor.committeeClark, Jamie
dc.contributor.committeeBaichtal, James F.
dc.contributor.committeeHolliday, Vance T.
dc.contributor.committeePlattet, Patrick


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