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Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea OttersIntegrating Archaeology and Ecology in the Northeast Pacific$
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Todd Braje

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267268

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267268.001.0001

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An Analysis of Seal, Sea Lion, and Sea Otter Consumption Patterns on Sanak Island, Alaska

An Analysis of Seal, Sea Lion, and Sea Otter Consumption Patterns on Sanak Island, Alaska

An 1800–Year Record on Aleut Consumer Behavior

Chapter:
(p.111) 6 An Analysis of Seal, Sea Lion, and Sea Otter Consumption Patterns on Sanak Island, Alaska
Source:
Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters
Author(s):

Veronica Lech

Matthew W. Betts

Herbert D. C. Maschner

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267268.003.0006

This chapter analyzes element and cut mark frequencies to determine the response of Aleut processing and transport strategies to variations in marine mammal abundance. It argues that during times of declining encounter rates for large-bodied marine mammals, the inhabitants of Sanak Island exploited marine mammal carcasses more intensively, an activity that should be detectable in element distributions, cut mark location, and cut mark intensity. Frequencies of marine mammal remains in the last four temporal contexts in the Sanak Island sequence appear to be linked to climatic and population shifts. This chapter focuses on the latter half of the post-Neoglacial to speculate on the relationship between climate changes and their impact on consumption strategies in marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and sea otters. The findings illustrate the importance of investigating patterns of marine mammal transport and butchery as part of historical ecological analyses.

Keywords:   Sanak Island, marine mammals, seals, sea lions, sea otters, consumption, butchery, post-Neoglacial, climate changes, population shifts

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