Camps and Sites in Settlement Pattern Reconstruction: The Nunamiut Case
Publication Type:Conference Paper
As archaeologists have devoted increasing attention to settlement patterns of hunting peoples, one class of variables which seem to have been neglected concerns patterns of re-occupation of individual sites. This paper presents the results of an initial attempt to analyze site re-occupation patterns of one group–the Nunamiut Eskimos of northem Alaska. A total of 257 habitation camps (occupations) at 130 different sites are examined in relation to several environmental and temporal categories. These occupations span the period between 1898 and 1959 and were recorded through ethnographic techniques. Two questions are asked: What were the major factors influencing site re-occupation? In what ways, if any, would the archaeologist be misled in reconstructing this settlement system on the basis of site counts alone? The answers to these questions are considered in terms of their implications for settlement pattern analysis.