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Possible Early Human Occupation of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

Knut R. Fladmark
Canadian Journal of Archaeology / Journal Canadien d'Archéologie
Vol. 14 (1990), pp. 183-197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41102456
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Possible Early Human Occupation of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
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Abstract

This paper describes a small assemblage of flaked stone tools which were found in situ throughout a deep section of raised beach deposits near the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Those littoral sediments were left by a high relative sea level position which existed around the Charlottes between about 9,000 and 4,500 years ago. The occurrence of artifacts throughout the thickness of those raised beach deposits implies that they were washed out of an existing coastal site as the sea level rose to its maximum position, or represent "palaeointertidal" occupations which had occurred during the same period. In either case, this suggests the presence of a human population on those isolated outer islands certainly pre-dating the oldest radiocarbon dated occupations at about 8000 B.P. This tends to support previous suggestions that the Charlottes might have been an important link in a chain of sea level refugia along the Pacific coast, used by early populations spreading south from Beringia. Dans cet article, nous décrivons un petit assemblage d'outils taillés, trouvés en place dans l'épaisseur d'une tranchée ouverte dans les dépôts de plages étagées du nord de l'archipel de la Reine Charlotte. Ces dépôts littoraux ont été créés lors d'une transgression marine qui a affecté l'archipel il y a 9000 - 4500 ans. La présence de ces artefacts dans toute l'epaisseur des dépôts signifie qu'ils y ont été transportés á partir d'un site côtier balayé par la remontée de la mer ou qu'ils représentent des visites de la plage entre les marées de cette époque. Dans l'un ou l'autre cas, ces indices montrent une occupation humaine de cette fraction isolée du territoire à une date certainement antérieure à 8000 B.P. Cette évidence pourrait appuyer l'hypothèse que ces iles ont pu être un chaînon de la chaîne de refuges marins jalonnant la côte Pacifique et favorisant l'expansion méridionale des populations humaines venues du sud de la Béringie.

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