Human resilience and resettlement among the Islands of Four Mountains, Aleutians, Alaska

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Department or Administrative Unit

Geological Sciences

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Combined archaeological, ecological, and geologic research on Chuginadak and Carlisle Islands in the Islands of Four Mountains (IFM) probed questions about the sustainability of human settlements over the past 4000 years in the face of geologic, ecological, and social hazards.We use a human ecodynamics approach to frame the investigation and present original archaeological evidence from this poorly known region of the remote Aleutian Islands. Several village sites occupied during the last four millennia are clustered in locations that were not damaged by earthquake-induced tsunamis; however, new geologic evidence indicates that at least one volcanic eruption forced humans to abandon one or more prehistoric village sites. Combined archaeological, ecological, and geologic analyses demonstrate resilient Unangax̂ occupations of the IFM through long-term climate change as well as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions with occasional community vulnerability to volcanic eruptions.


This article was originally published in Quaternary Research. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Quaternary Research


Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2019.