Préhistoire béringienne: Étude archéologique des Grottes du Poisson-Bleu (Yukon)

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When did the first settlers arrive in North America? What routes did the first Americans use to get here? How did they adapt to climate and environmental conditions in the Arctic territories? Are they responsible for the megafauna extinction close to 14,000 years ago? Lauriane Bourgeon attempts to answer these questions based on an archaeological survey of the Bluefish Caves site located in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

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Préhistoire béringienne: Étude archéologique des Grottes du Poisson-Bleu (Yukon)

by Lauriane Bourgeon

2018, 978-2-7603-2735-1
Mercury Series (Archaeology Paper 179)
448 pp., 67 illustrations, 17×24 cm, paperback

When did the first settlers arrive in North America? What routes did the first Americans use to get here? How did they adapt to climate and environmental conditions in the Arctic territories? Are they responsible for the megafauna extinction close to 14,000 years ago? Lauriane Bourgeon attempts to answer these questions based on an archaeological survey of the Bluefish Caves site located in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

A little over 36,000 animal bone samples were painstakingly examined under a microscope to identify traces of cultural activity. Six of the samples bore evidence of butchery marks produced by stone tools and were sent for radiocarbon dating. Results indicate human occupation at Bluefish Caves 24,000 years before present, in the middle of the ice age. This considerably pushes back the timing of humans’ first entry into North America, previously thought to be around 15,000 years before present. Supported by genetic data, the archaeological survey suggests it was only after North America’s ice masses gradually receded about 15,000 years ago that an isolated human population left the Far North to disperse across the continent.

In french only

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