An Archaeological Perspective on Neoeskirno Economics
Publication Type:Conference Paper
The excavation of a number of late pre-contact and early contact Inuvialuit sites in the western Canadian Arctic has revealed an interior occupational focus during the summer-autumn period which would not have been suspected from the ethnographic literature. It appears that while some Inuvialuit were whaling on the main Arctic coast, other groups or social segments spent this same crucial time of year exploiting fish and caribou in the near-interior of the Eskimo Lakes. This type of dual exploitive pattern is comparable to the Nunamiut-Tarerniut situation in northern Alaska and may be typical of the Western Eskimo in general. It has implications when considering the spread of Thule culture from the richer enviromnents of Alaska and the Mackenzie Delta (which allow different economic strategies during the same season) to the much poorer enviromnents of the Central Arctic.