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The Foragers of Point Hope
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    Antón, Susan C. Taboada, Hannah G. Middleton, Emily R. Rainwater, Christopher W. Taylor, Andrea B. Turner, Trudy R. Turnquist, Jean E. Weinstein, Karen J. and Williams, Scott A. 2016. Morphological variation inHomo erectusand the origins of developmental plasticity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 371, Issue. 1698, p. 20150236.


Book description

On the edge of the Arctic Ocean, above the Arctic Circle, the prehistoric settlements at Point Hope, Alaska, represent a truly remarkable accomplishment in human biological and cultural adaptations. Presenting a set of anthropological analyses on the human skeletal remains and cultural material from the Ipiutak and Tigara archaeological sites, The Foragers of Point Hope sheds new light on the excavations from 1939–41, which provided one of the largest sets of combined biological and cultural materials of northern latitude peoples in the world. A range of material items indicated successful human foraging strategies in this harsh Arctic environment. They also yielded enigmatic artifacts indicative of complex human cultural life filled with dense ritual and artistic expression. These remnants of past human activity contribute to a crucial understanding of past foraging lifeways and offer important insights into the human condition at the extreme edges of the globe.


'This volume represents a true anthropological reconstruction of life among the prehistoric foragers from Point Hope, Alaska. It includes important perspectives regarding the ecological realities of adaptation in this harsh environment that are integrated into the perception of this landscape by the Ipiutak and Tigara people themselves. The work is a must-read for all who find interest in hunter-gatherer populations, and scholars who value integrated anthropological research.'

Daniel H. Temple - University of North Carolina, Wilmington

'Point Hope, a narrow spit of land on the Arctic Ocean, is something of an enigma in Alaskan prehistory. Since the pre-WWII excavations of its varied habitation and cemetery sites the archaeology has been well chronicled, though not with unqualified acceptance. In addition, with exceptions, the ancient inhabitants themselves received little attention - as in the lack of research on some 500 recovered Ipiutak and Tigara skeletons. Finally, after 70+ years this superbly edited volume addresses that neglect. Between up-to-date accounts of the archaeological context and thoughtful comment by highly respected circumpolar researchers, a series of comprehensive yet highly readable chapters by biological anthropologists and bioarchaeologists give insight into the origins, affinities, and everyday lives of people who once called Point Hope home. Though long overdue, this much-needed biocultural insight was worth the wait.'

Joel D. Irish - Liverpool John Moores University

'This volume provides the reader with almost everything one would want to know about the archaeology and skeletal biology of the prehistoric Ipiutak and Tigara samples from a tiny, but important strip of land in Point Hope, Alaska. With a wide array of well-written chapters on topics as diverse as the Ipiutak 'spirit-scape' to dental microwear to paleopathology, from growth and development to the samples’ genetic affinities inferred from cranial morphology, this book provides much-needed contextual knowledge on this fascinating skeletal sample, and will be a go-to resource for those interested in the bioarchaeology of circumpolar peoples.'

Trenton W. Holliday - Tulane University

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