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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeological research in the last 35 years has greatly increased our understanding of the complexity and dynamism of prehistoric Aleutian cultures. The traditional view of a uniform and unchanging culture spanning 1,000 miles and 4,000 years has collapsed under this new research. This chapter brings together for the first time recent scholarship on archipelago-wide cultural change through time and across space. The role of cultural influences from elsewhere in Alaska is explored, demolishing the paradigm of cultural isolation. This was instead a population of highly specialized maritime hunter-gatherers who undertook voyages of trade and warfare, sometimes covering distances of hundreds of kilometers, as well as inland movements to discover abundant resources.

Keywords: Aleut, Unangax, Aleutian tradition, human geography, economics, Western Aleutian Phase, Margaret Bay phase, Adamagan phase

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