Article

Adapting to a Frozen Coastal Environment

Robert W. Park

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195380118.013.0010

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Adapting to a Frozen Coastal Environment

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In the Arctic, people experience some of the most profound seasonal changes anywhere on earth: the temperature and amount of daylight differ tremendously between summer and winter, the nature and extent of the usable landscape varies enormously with the annual formation and dissolution of the sea ice, and the composition and abundance of the fauna changes dramatically due to most species' annual migrations. Moreover, because the sea ice environment melts every summer, all direct traces of human use of that landscape are lost annually. Therefore, to a greater extent than in most archaeological situations, our understanding of the history of human use of the sea ice part of the coastal environment must be inferential.

Keywords: coastal environment; Arctic; seasonal changes; frozen environment; fauna changes; landscape; adaptation

Article.  3867 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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