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The Caribou/Wild Reindeer as a Human Resource

  • Ernest S. Burch (a1)

The caribou/wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) has been a major resource for many human populations in northern North America and Eurasia for tens of thousands of years. The species is generally represented by prehistorians as providing an ample, easily exploited, and highly reliable resource base for humans. In this paper a number of specific assumptions leading to this view are examined in the light of new data on North American caribou and caribou-hunting Eskimo groups. The conventional picture is found to be largely untenable.

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American Antiquity
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