Paleoeskimo Demographic History in the Canadian Arctic (ca. 4800-800 B.P.) and its Relationship to Mid-Late Holocene Climate Variability.

Monday, 15 December 2014: 2:10 PM
James Michael Savelle, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Paleoeskimos were the first occupants of the central and eastern Canadian Arctic, spreading east from the Bering Strait region beginning approximately 4800 B.P., and occupied much of the Canadian Arctic through to their eventual disappearance ca. 800 B.P. Extensive regional archaeological site surveys throughout this area by the author and Arthur S. Dyke indicate that Paleoskimo populations underwent a series of population ‘boom’ (rapid expansion) and ‘bust’ (population declines and local extinctions) over the 4,000 year occupation history, including in the purported stable ‘core area’ of Foxe Basin. In this paper, we examine the contemporaneity of the local boom and bust cycles in a pan-Canadian Arctic context, and in turn examine the relationship of these cycles to mid-late Holocene climate variability.