Early to Mid-Holocene Prehistory in the Old Crow Region of Far Eastern Beringia
Publication Type:Conference Paper
Source:Whitehorse, Yukon (1999)
A number of Holocene period archaeological cultures have been proposed for eastern Beringia, largely on the basis of work in Alaska. Some of these cultures are better represented than others, but few have been systematically integrated with the results of research from the Northern Yukon. However, after nearly 35 years of survey, testing and excavation by a small number of researchers, the Northern Yukon has proven to have an early to mid-Holocene archaeological record that is every bit as rich and complex as that in Alaska. There is evidence, for example, of a blade and burin facies, of which the so-called American Palaeo-Arctic is well-represented. But this is only one player, in a rather complex mosaic that includes fluted points, later non-fluted lanceolates, closely resembling the materials from the well-publicized Mesa site, as well as indications of an as yet poorly defined Northern Cordilleran complex. The middle Holocene is in many ways an enigma. Elements of Northern Archaic are present in the region, but surprisingly little relative to periods before or after. This absence of evidence is currently difficult to explain, although sampling problems may be at least partly responsible.