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date: 25 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a summary of what is currently known about the Denbigh Flint complex of northwest Alaska. Old and new data are used to present an updated chronology for their appearance and disappearance in Alaska. Sourcing studies show migratory pulses or trade across Bering Strait brought Siberian obsidian to Alaska over 4,000 years ago, adding support to origin models positing an Arctic Small Tool tradition source population in Asia. The chapter revisits such issues as the population’s economic orientation, subsistence, and their maritime adaptations, which remain poorly understood. It also assesses the relationship between technology, site types, mobility, and regional settlement patterns, concluding that some Denbigh groups were indeed highly mobile foragers with a specialized reliance on migratory caribou herds. Gaps in current knowledge are emphasized and future research directions are suggested.

Keywords: Arctic Small Tool tradition, Denbigh Flint complex, specialized caribou hunters, Arctic maritime adaptations, obsidian sourcing, trans-Bering Strait trade

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