The Archaeology Of Beringia

The Archaeology Of Beringia

  • Publish Date: 1981-07-01
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Frederick H. West
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Columbia Univ Pr
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From the dust jacket flap: Twelve thousand years ago a climatic warming trend submerged the remains of the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. The indigenous population of the vast plain that linked Siberia to Alaska was forced to emigrate to the east. Long considered merely a passageway, Beringia, in Frederick Hadleigh West's view, is better understood as a complete biotic province unto itself, home for early peoples, and an important center of dispersion for many species. The Archaeology of Beringia is West's painstaking synthesis of all recent findings on the inland hunters of Beringia and their unique arctic culture. West shows how the prehistoric Beringians, with their skills of big game hunting and their advanced stone technology, flourished under the unusual environmental circumstances that existed in this Far Northern province. The Beringian tradition, according to West, was the direct forebear of Clovis culture, the earliest Palaeo-Indian tradition. Through the use of extensive English and Russian sources, the author documents the existence of a great regional Beringian culture. West's thesis has profound implications for theories on the evolution of native American cultures. To detail the nature of the late Pleistocene era, West has marshalled relevant evidence from the disciplines of geology, palynology, glaciology, and palaeoclimatology. His theories have developed from his own extensive archaeological and ecological studies in Alaska. The author's premise is a challenging one. In presenting all available data-the book is heavily illustrated-The Archaeology of Beringia will prove an indispensable source as research continues.

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