Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This study presents a revised cultural chronology for the Nuvuk site, Point Barrow, Alaska. It is based on results of 10 years of work at the site, including the Nuvuk Archaeology Project.

First, the history and results of prior ethnographic and archaeological research on the North Slope are reviewed, with an emphasis on material pertaining to coastal North Alaska. Nuvuk is set in environmental context, and the results of geomorphological research associated with this project are presented.

Secondly, the findings of the pre-contact portion of the excavations are described. Notable results of this work include a previously unsuspected Ipiutak occupation, and a previously undocumented Thule occupation with an associated large cemetery. In addition, brief descriptions of various midden and activity areas resulting from the post-contact occupation of the site are provided. The detailed results of the 63 Thule burial excavations conducted to date are presented as an appendix.

Finally, the implications of the presence of Ipiutak and Thule at the Nuvuk site for the chronology of the site itself, as well as the broader chronologies of the Barrow area and the North Slope are detailed. The implications of this revised chronology for interpretation of Ipiutak and for the question of Thule origins are discussed.


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