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Colloquium: "Traces from Northern Forests: Multiple Contexts of <I>Xaasaa Cheeg’e Ts’eniin</I> (Upward-Sun-River-Mouth Child)" by Ben Potter

Monday, September 26, 2011
4:00 AM
411 West Hall

Colloquium: Traces from Northern Forests: Multiple Contexts of <i>Xaasaa Cheeg’e Ts’eniin</i> (Upward-Sun-River-Mouth Child)" by Ben Potter

Abstract: This talk encompasses recent developments in our understanding of the prehistory of subarctic Alaska, including our recent find of the earliest human remains in Northern North America. To place this child, Xaasaa Cheeg’e Ts’eniin, in context, I present results from my research including archaeological sensitivity modeling, faunal and lithic analyses, and data from large transect surveys and targeted excavations. In addition, recent work in linguistics (Dene-Yeniseian connection) provides some unexpected avenues for inquiry. These results indicate some surprising conclusions, including extreme conservatism in technologies from the last Ice Age to the Late Holocene, but shifts in economy and habitat use among northern hunter-gatherers. Our ongoing collaboration with local and regional Native communities has enriched my own perspectives on the prehistory of the region, and I discuss our work in these contexts.