The Soviet-American Siberian Expedition   /   Campbell, J.M.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 2-6, ill., figure
ASTIS record 10321

The 1975 expedition was mainly exploratory, its primary purpose being that of collecting substantive evidence relative to the past and present natural environments and the human prehistory of western Lake Baikal in central Siberia. ... The work at the two camps was organized as follows: Drs. Atseev, Clark, Derevyanko, Harper, Laughlin and Okladnikov partially excavated two archaeological sites, of the period from about 8000 B.C. to 1000 A.D., which were in the main representative of Mesolithic and Neolithic encampments whose inhabitants were heavily reliant on the hunting of large game, including the Bailak seal. In addition, the investigators just mentioned, and other members of the field party, briefly excavated a locality which contained lithic specimens (probably artefacts) directly associated with the bones of extinct megafauna. Dr. Hopkins and his Soviet counterpart, Dr. Troitsky, formed interpretations of the geological stratigraphy of the archaeological localities just referred to; collected invertebrate and vertebrate fossils; discovered, and partially excavated, another Neolithic site and, more generally, assessed major regional climatological and geomorphological events of about the past 10,000 years. My own work was directed toward recording certain characteristics of the present-day regional environment - mainly, its late summer climate, terrestrial plant communities, and invertebrates. The various studies resulted in the accumulation of a comprehensive body of data. In addition to meteorological observations, we recorded a few live fishes and mammals, and nearly 70 species of birds. The collections we assembled included numerous artefacts; human skeletal remains; a total of more than 75 fossil, soil and radiocarbon samples; about 100 specimens of recent invertebrates, and more than 400 plant specimens. That we were permitted to remove these collections intact and without search (together with our journals, and more than 7000 undeveloped still photos and 33 reels of film) testifies to the freedom we enjoyed both in the field, and in Moscow, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. ...

The Eskimo songs of northwestern Alaska   /   Johnston, T.F.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 7-19, ill.
ASTIS record 10322

The findings are presented of ethnomusicological research in several Eskimo communities of northwestern Alaska where traditional music is still popular. In some of these communities, particularly at Point Hope, musical ceremonialism is considerable. There are three main classes of songs in use: game songs, songs-within-stories and dance songs. Song styles and dance styles differ from those of the Eskimo communities of southwestern Alaska, reflecting not only the ceremonialism formerly associated with whaling in the north, but also language differences.

Eskimo sleep paralysis   /   Bloom, J.D.   Gelardin, R.D.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 20-26
ASTIS record 10323

Sleep paralysis is an essentially rare condition of unknown aetiology associated with both the narcolepsy-cataplexy syndrome and with psychological dissociative experiences. This supposedly rare condition seems to be well known to Alaska Eskimos, having Eskimo names, a traditional cause, and a method for treatment. Pertinent literature is reviewed on sleep paralysis, Eskimo personality dynamics, in particular the use of hysterical mechanisms, and traditional explanations for phenomena of this type including literature on shamanism. Suggestions are made for the clinical approach to patients in the cross-cultural setting.

Thule culture communal houses in Labrador   /   Schledermann, P.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 27-37, figures
ASTIS record 10324

From the study of excavations at Saglek Bay, construction of large rectangular sod-stone and whalebone communal houses by the Thule culture Eskimos in northern Labrador apparently began about the latter half of the seventeenth century. There appears to have been a general trend towards communal living, beginning with the snow-house complex in the central Canadian Arctic during the early part of the Neo-Boreal period. Communal house development in Labrador is seen as an extension of this general trend, serving as an adaptive mechanism in times of social or economic stress. Variation in styles in explained in terms of available construction materials.

Historical aspects of the northern Canadian treeline   /   Nichols, H.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 38-47, ill., figures
ASTIS record 10325

From palynological studies it appears that northernmost dwarf spruces of the tundra and parts of the forest-tundra boundary may be relicts from times of prior warmth, and if felled might not regenerate. This disequilibrium may help explain the partial incongruence of modern climatic limits with the present forest edge. Seedlings established as a result of recent warming should therefore be found within the northernmost woodlands rather than in the southern tundra.

Glacial history and palaeoecology of northeastern Nouveau-Québec and northern Labrador   /   Ives, J.D.   Nichols, H.   Short, S.K.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 48-52, ill.
ASTIS record 10326

Between mid-July and mid-August 1975, a reconnaissance was made of a large tract of subarctic and arctic terrain bounded by Schefferville, Fort Chimo and the Torngat Mountains north to latitude 59°31' N. A float-plane was used for the purpose. Three main areas received special attention: the southern and central Torngat Mountains between Hebron Fiord and Ryans Bay; the lower George River between Wedge Hill and Port Nouveau Québec, and the Quebec-Newfoundland boundary area north of Schefferville. This work was designed to provide radiometric dating control for earlier studies in the same region carried out between 1955 and 1965. It was intended to lay a foundation for future detailed investigations of Holocene climatic and ecological history, including fluctuations in the position of the northern treeline, final disappearance of the late-Wisconsin Laurentide Ice Sheet, and the early development of human occupation of the area. Specific objectives included: 1. confirmation that three distinct rock weathering zones, related to discrete glacial stades, were indeed correlative with rock weathering zones recognized in Baffin Island through quantitative studies; 2. resolution of the questions of the existence of ice-free areas during the Wisconsin Maximum (Saglek Glaciation) and of the earlier total glacial inundation of the Torngat Mountains. The second question hinges on the interpretation of anomalous blocks on high mountain tops as glacial erratics; 3. dating of the major glacial lake shorelines in the George River basin (Naskaupi and McLean glacial lakes) and location of other suspected glacial lake systems; 4. determination of the date of final disappearance of late-Wisconsin ice in the central region of Labrador-Ungava; 5. study of the fluctuations in the position of the forest-tundra ecotone over the last 8,000 years and comparison with those in the Districts of Keewatin and Mackenzie, N.W.T.; 6. analysis of Holocene climatic and environmental fluctuations affecting plant communities and human occupancy.

Determining season of death of archaeological fauna by analysis of teeth   /   Spiess, A.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 53-55
ASTIS record 10327

Seasonality of site occupation is a common concern in northern archaeology, and any faunal remains recovered should be analysed in an attempt to provide data useful for its determination. Conclusions reached in the past on the subject of seasonality have been based on data concerning composition of species, age composition of mammalian remains based on tooth eruption or epiphyseal closure ages, or traits such as antler retention or loss in cervids. The present paper constitutes a report on the successful adaptation to archaeological samples of an ageing technique widely applied in wildlife management: the "reading" of annual growth layers in mammalian teeth. Since teeth are often the most common, and usually the most identifiable, faunal remains from archaeological sites, the information resulting from a judicial use of the technique should supplement data concerning seasonality gathered by other methods and act as an independent check against them.

An attack by a polar bear on a juvenile beluga   /   Heyland, J.D.   Hay, K.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 56-57, ill.
ASTIS record 10328

Cunningham Inlet, Somerset Island, in the Canadian Arctic is frequented each summer by large numbers of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas). They migrate to the head of the inlet, and then invade the mouths of the two streams which drain into it. ... On 26 July 1974, a sexually-immature female beluga was discovered stranded on a gravel bar at the head of the inlet. Because it could not be manhandled back to water, and would have died from suffocating and dehydration, the whale was shot. The brown colour, shape of head and length (271 cm) of the animal suggested that it was between three and four years old, while the five to six growth layers present in the teeth indicated an age of 2½-3 years. The stomach was found to contain a few amphipods and some seaweed. The carcass carried deep but well-healed scars on the left dorso-lateral aspect caudal to the dorsal ridge. Their depth, and the fact that they were parallel in three cases, strongly suggested that the animal had been attacked by a large-clawed animal, probably a polar bear (Ursus maritimus). ... To our knowledge this paper constitutes only the third documented account of an attack on a beluga by a polar bear in the Canadian Arctic .... [All previously reported attacks, including an attack of captive belugas near Churchill, are also discussed in this article.]

Simon Paneak   /   Irving, L.
Arctic, v. 29, no. 1, Mar. 1976, p. 58-59, 1 ill.
ASTIS record 53516

A well-known and distinguished Eskimo, Simon Paneak, who has been foremost a guide and instructor of scholars in interior arctic Alaska, died in September 1975. Simon Paneak extended a hospitality and guidance to scientists that enabled them to become acquainted with conditions and life in the arctic mountains of Alaska, where without his aid and that of his family and many Eskimo friends, especially in the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass, existence along would have been most difficult for the visitors. Simon was born in 1900 in the Killik Valley of the central Brooks Range. ... In his childhood, practical use of the ancient implements was still familiar, and Simon could reconstruct the ways of life in the ancient families and small villages with delightful vividness. His stories have been important sources of accounts of the social anthropology of the inland Eskimos. His understandings of ancient ways enabled him to guide archaeologists to sites productive of artefacts revealing the prehistory of men in the Arctic over some 5,000 years. Simon's influence in anthropology, biology, and geology has affected scores of scientists. Their personal recollections of his aid and instruction in the ways of arctic life bear witness to his contribution to science. The agreeable memories of his genial society testify to the fact that pursuit of scientific information offers a social enterprise in which strangers with a formal education can communicate most agreeably with native residents who are not educated by conventions foreign to their locality, but who are wise in knowledge and appreciation of their own country. Simon collaborated with the writer of this tribute in publishing three articles on the avifauna of arctic Alaska, and was acknowledged as an important source of information in over a dozen other works in the same and related fields.

© Arctic Institute of North America. Records from this database may be used freely for research and educational purposes, but may not be used to create databases or publications for distribution outside your own organization without prior permission from ASTIS.