Article

The Circumpolar Zone

Bryan C. Hood

in The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199271016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199271016.013.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Circumpolar Zone

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This article presents a panorama of cultural variation in the archaeology of the circumpolar zone and touches on central processes of socio-economic change related to both ecological contexts and regional interaction. It provides a historical retrospective of changing perspectives in circumpolar archaeology and examines a series of geographical regions including northern Fennoscandinavia, Siberia, and the Bering Strait. It explains that culturally, the circumpolar zone has supported a variety of societies ranging from small, mobile, egalitarian Inuit seal-hunting bands, to reindeer hunters and herders, to semi-sedentary whale-hunting societies with large villages and social hierarchies. The circumpolar zone displays more cultural diversity and dynamism than the nasty, brutish, and frigid stereotype would lead one to believe.

Keywords: circumpolar zone; cultural variation; socio-economic change; regional interaction; archaeology; cultural diversity; cultural dynamism; Fennoscandinavia; Siberia; Bering Strait

Article.  11386 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Environmental Archaeology

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