Collection Description

Tradition Name


Tradition Description

The Paleo-Arctic tradition extends from 11,000 BP to 6000 BP in the unglaciated areas of the Arctic regions of North America, with most of the known sites in northwest Alaska. The sites found to date are short-term hunting camps with evidence of caribou kills and mostly lithic artifacts such as microblades. As preservation is poor, evidence for other species of animals hunted has not been found. Paleo-Arctic people probably lived in small, egalitarian communities of nomadic terrestrial hunters.


Select the Tradition Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


North America --Arctic and Subarctic



United States

OWC Code


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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Paleo-Arctic collection consists of eight documents, all in English. The documents discuss the Paleo-Arctic tradition in Alaska of the United States from 11,000 BP – 6000 BP.

For an overview of the Paleo-Arctic tradition readers can start with Anderson (1984, no. 4) and Dumond (1984, no. 6). These are chapters from an edited volume on the Arctic. Anderson (1970, no. 1) briefly describes Alaskan microblade traditions. In Anderson (1970, no. 2) presents the site report for the Akmak assemblage. Hamilton (1970, no. 3) describes the geology and stratigraphy surrounding the Akmak assemblage. A detailed excavation report of the entire excavations from Onion Portage are to be found in Anderson (1988, no. 5). And Larsen (1968, no. 8) presents the excavation report for Trail Creek. Finally, Damas (1984, no. 7) is the bibliography for Anderson (1984, no. 4) and Dumond (1984, no. 6).

For further information on individual works in this collection, see the abstract in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Sarah Berry

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