Slobodin, Sergei
September 2001
Arctic Anthropology;2001, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p31
Academic Journal
Archaeological materials recovered from western Beringia from the 1960s through the 1990s provide the foundation for several models of Beringian colonization. These can be identified in three broad, yet hypothetical, technological traditions that might have existed in Beringia at the end of the Ice Age: the Pebble, non-Microblade, and Microblade traditions. Recent studies show that chronological, stratigraphic, and typological data do not necessarily support the existence of some of these previously identified traditions and their proposed placement within the prehistory of Beringia. The most weakly supported hypothesis is that of the Beringian Pebble Tool tradition. Broad typological correlations between western Beringian lithics and ancient pebble complexes from south of Siberia, where pebble tools persist until the modern era, cast doubt on this hypothesis. The origin and development of a Beringian pre-Microblade or non-Microblade tradition also remains ambiguous. If the idea that the Dyuktai culture spread into Beringia shortly before it disappeared in Yakutia finds support in hard archaeological evidence, then a case can be made for a pre-Microblade tradition in Beringia. Lastly, it is clear that a widespread Microblade tradition appeared in western Beringia no later than 12,000 yrs. B.P., and was comprised of various complexes united by the presence of wedge-shaped cores and bifaces.


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