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Regional stratigraphy and human occupation of the upper Susitna River basin, central Alaska Range

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Blong



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This study presents geomorphological, paleoenvironmental, and archaeological data from the upland upper Susitna River basin in the central Alaska Range. The goal of this study is to establish the landscape history and record of human use of the study area and test regional land-use models. The results indicate that the upper Susitna was first occupied in the early Holocene at least 2,000 years after the end of full-glacial conditions and 1,000 years after evidence of landscape recovery. Early Holocene land-use consisted of short-term task-specific camps occupied by highly mobile groups on logistical forays. Upland land use intensified in the middle and late Holocene after modern vegetation patterns were established; during this time hunter-gatherers occupied both residential and task-specific camps in the study area in a logistical land-use system. These results support a shift in land use in the early Holocene to include upland landscapes and intensification of upland landscape use in the late–middle Holocene. A shift in residential base camp location in the late Holocene may be tied to changing subsistence activities. There is evidence for a hiatus in human occupation following Holocene tephra fall, but it is unclear whether this was related to tephra deposition or broader climate instability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blong JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoarchaeology

Year: 2019

Volume: 34

Issue: 4

Pages: 380-399

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 24/12/2018

Acceptance date: 01/10/2018

Date deposited: 14/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0883-6353

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6548

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/gea.21715


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