Beringia was a region of intense interaction (human, animal, plant, etc.) for millennia. This region was a critical pathway for the peopling of North America and has since continued to be a source of ideas, technology, and human movement for thousands of years. While archaeologists have established broader past patterns of interaction and migration, many questions remain about the ways that people expanded, contracted, and invested in social networks in relationship to external forces of cultural change. This research is directed at studying pre-contact cultural interaction in Beringia through analysis of archaeological ceramic technology.
This work will: 1) expand the temporal and geographic scope of prior work to include a greater area of Beringia, 2) focus on key locales for understanding interaction, e.g.. islands of the Bering Strait and Chukotka, and 3) build connections with Russian-based colleagues and Bering Strait communities interested in cultural exchange, interaction, and past technologies.
Community Engagement is a crucial part of the future of this research. We plan to continue to build existing connections with Bering Strait communities and assess interest in future community-based collaborative research, and collaborate with Russian colleagues to compare and share knowledge about Beringian ceramics and past interaction networks. We want to facilitate exchange between Russian and American archaeologists, and between archaeologists and local communities. Collaboration between archaeologists in Russia and Alaska is limited primarily to study of PaleoIndian archaeology rather than Ancestral Iñupiat and Yupiit cultures. The collaborative research and publication proposed here is a critical step towards further cooperative work.