News & Events

Out of Beringia: Genetics, paleoecology, and archaeology

Monday, October 07, 2013, 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Out of Beringia: Genetics, paleoecology, and archaeology

Speaker

John Hoffecker

Location:

ARC room 620

Human geneticists argue that most Native Americans are derived from a population isolated from its source in Asia for thousands of years before dispersing in the Americas.  Some of them suggest that the isolated population was located in Beringia during the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM] (i.e., “Out of Beringia” or “Beringian Standstill” model).  Archaeological traces of LGM occupation in NE Asia and Alaska/Yukon (i.e., accessible remnants of Beringia) are lacking, although pre-LGM settlement of northwestern Beringia is documented at the Yana sites.  Several lines of evidence indicate a mesic tundra refugium on the Bering Land Bridge (BLB), however, that may have provided the only substantive source of wood above latitude 55° north during the LGM.  Experimental studies indicate that some wood is necessary to render fresh bone practical as a fuel, and a wood supply probably was the critical variable.  The post-LGM archaeological record contains both an industry derived from NE Asia (Dyuktai) and another industry (e.g., Ushki-VII) plausibly derived from the now submerged BLB.

Audience

Free and open to the public