• Toolstone procurement in middle-late Holocene in the Kodiak archipelago and the Alaska Peninsula

      Rains, Devon; Potter, Ben; Severin, Ken; Rasic, Jeffrey; Irish, Joel (2014-12)
      The Norton tradition (2300-950 BP) in the Alaska Peninsula and the Late Kachemak phase (2700-900 BP) in Kodiak are distinct cultural traditions yet contain some similarities in lithic assemblages and house form, suggesting some contact or influence occurred. The subsequent Koniag tradition (900-200 BP) is present in both the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak, indicating direct influence or migration. While the Koniag tradition is found in sites located throughout the North Pacific region, the Koniag tradition in Kodiak is characterized by changes in social climate and subsistence strategies including greater warfare/raiding and resource consolidation. In order to obtain these resources, Koniag populations living in Kodiak may have traveled farther distances than previous populations. In contrast, Alaska Peninsula populations did not experience significantly different subsistence strategies over time and therefore would not need to travel as far as Kodiak populations or significantly alter subsistence patterns. Determining the probable origins of toolstone materials in late prehistoric sites can reveal changes in the ways people in this region obtained their resources and give a more comprehensive understanding of the degree to which the Koniag lifestyle differed from the preceding cultural traditions in the region. Due to the eruptive history in the Alaska Peninsula, the presence of volcanic toolstone in Kodiak sites, and the close proximity between the two locations, central Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak sites are optimally located in order to determine possible changes in the direction where volcanic toolstone originated. This thesis explored differences between volcanic toolstone procurement locations in late prehistoric sites on the Kodiak Archipelago and the central Alaska Peninsula by comparing samples according to size and abundance of tool types, site location, cultural affiliation, and time periods using element values obtained from x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology. Results show possible geographic boundaries of toolstone containing similar element values using Alaska Peninsula samples, which were subsequently compared with Kodiak samples. Data presented in this thesis shows the geographic range of likely toolstone procurement locations increased over time in Kodiak sites, while Alaska Peninsula sites contain evidence that toolstone remained locally procured over time.