• Indigenous archaeological approaches to artifact and household analysis at precolonial Yup'ik village Temyiq Tuyuryaq (Old Togiak)

      Skinner, Dougless I.; Potter, Ben; Yamin-Pasternak, Sveta; Reuther, Josh; Barnett, Kristen (2019-08)
      Upper Bristol Bay is home to a multitude of precolonial-and colonial-era villages dotting the coast, islands, and rivers. The bay's dynamic history remains relatively unexplored in archaeological literature. Current data situate people in the region for nearly 6000 years, living in complex, semi-permanent villages, subsisting on large land and sea mammals, fish and mollusks. One such village is Temyiq Tuyuryaq or Old Togiak (GDN-00203). The village is a mounded accumulation of household cycles, sand and organic materials atop an accreting sand spit in the Togiak Bay. Ancestral to Nutaraq Tuyuryaq [New Togiak], the village directly links precolonial and modern Yup'ik traditions in the Upper Bristol Bay. Yup'ik traditions are a combination of transformation, continuity and resilience. Yupiit worldview seeks balance and co-existence with many life forms including the spiritual, natural and human. The aim of this research is to intersect traditional Yup'ik values, knowledges and histories with archeological theory and methodology to explore the material culture and households of Temyiq Tuyuryaq. Research objectives include evaluating a sample of the culturally modified materials, assessing the built environment and exploring the Little Ice Age as causation for increasing village complexities. Research results indicate that there is a direct continuity of knowledge spanning at least 600 years in the bay. Artifact production and function remain primarily continuous with intensifications of some materials circa 500 cal BP. Household analysis reveals the importance of the ena [family house] for processing foods and cooking activities. Additionally, the research indicates that the Little Ice Age may not have had an extensive impact on tool and household function. Rather, the results suggest that the Yup'ik Bow-and-Arrow War had more extensive impacts on the villages about 600 cal BP. This thesis explores the complex relationship of Indigenous knowledge and archaeological data, as well as discussing the dynamic and continuous relationships that modern Yup'ik people of Bristol Bay have to their histories.