François Lanoë, SoA 2016 Haury Dissertation Award Recipient
"Human Paleoecological Integration in Beringia"
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Haury Room 216
Abstract: People colonized Beringia, at the northeastern end of Eurasia, at the end of the last Ice Age, around 14,000 years ago. The settlement of this region was contemporaneous of dramatic environmental changes: the cold steppe that was typical of the Ice Age was replaced by a boreal forest, and much of the megafauna (mammoth, horse, lion) went extinct. This paper focuses on the ecological role of people in this turnover, and how their economic activities may have impacted the larger ecosystem. Results from stable isotope and zooarchaeological analyses suggest that people had little to do in the extinction of large herbivores. On the other hand, they probably contributed, by competition for access to resources, to the extinction of large carnivores or their shift to lower trophic levels.