Thursday, February 24, 2011

People of the ancient Subarctic

In a trench dug into an ancient settlement site in central Alaska, archaeologists found something startling: the remains of a child, 11,000 years old, which had been cremated after death. The dwelling the child lived in was then abandoned. Was this reverence for the dead? Fear of a spirit? Fear of disease? The dwelling was not a simple nomadic camp, but a pole-supported structure dug about 30cm into the ground. Remains of animals, among other finds, show the site was used for a long time before the child's death.
It's not known what modern Alaska Natives the child is related to, although a tribe living near the lake has christened the child Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin: Upward Sun River Mouth Child
What happened here? There is much we may never know.

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