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Title: Open passage ethno-archaeology of skin boats and indigeneous maritime mobility of North-American Arctic
Author: Anichtchenko, Evguenia V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 3956
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is an examination of prehistoric maritime mobility in the Arctic regions of North America through the ethno-archaeological analysis of skin boats. Covering over 100,000 km of coastline, the skin boat traditions of the Arctic and Subarctic zones are arguably among the most expansive watercraft technologies in the world, dating back at least 10,000 years. Despite the considerable material record generated by this geographically and chronologically extended use, and the potential this record contains for understanding Arctic maritime mobility, skin boat datasets are rarely considered in scholarly discussions on prehistoric exchanges and population movement. This study aims at closing this gap by focusing on the skin boat record as a key dataset for assessing the scale, nature and significance of maritime mobility in the North-American Arctic. The analysis of particular regional trends and cross-regional patterns is based on review of three case studies. Moving west to east this review starts in the Bering Strait region with a particular focus on the Kukulik site on St. Lawrence Island. Maritime mobility in the Chukchi Sea region is assessed through the archaeological assembly of the Birnirk site near Point Barrow, Alaska. The third case study is focused on the Qariaraqyuk site on Somerset Island, extending the geography of the research to the Central Canadian Arctic. Individual boat parts and the information they provide for reconstructing complete watercraft are analyzed along with the boat fragment frequency and spatial distribution. This provides understanding of the statistical and social makeup of seafaring in Arctic North America, of the logistics of maritime mobility, of the larger scale cross-regional and chronological patterns of skin boat design and use, and, ultimately, of the role of seafaring in constructing cultural landscapes of the prehistoric Arctic.
Supervisor: Blue, Lucy ; Marshall, Yvonne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available