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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter synthesizes our current understanding of Holocene prehistory (from 11,500 years ago) of the northwest Subarctic, encompassing Alaska, Yukon Territory, and northern British Columbia. Various cultural chronologies are considered, as are new interpretations based on recently excavated sites. These data indicate conservation of lithic technologies concurrent with economic change throughout the region. Periods of cultural transitions occurred at 6,000 and 1,000 years ago. High residential mobility is inferred for most of the Holocene, with radical shifts in settlement and technology throughout the region at 1,000 years ago, though there are elements of continuity. Current debates on ethnogenesis of Athapaskans and the utility of typological approaches are also discussed.

Keywords: Subarctic, Athapaskan, Denali complex, Northern Archaic tradition, White River Ash, historical linguistics

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