A team of researchers, led by Oregon State University anthropologist Deanna Kingston, has discovered a prehistoric village on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. The archaeological site, shown by carbon dating to be 800 to 900 years old, indicates that King Island, Alaska, was inhabited by Inupiat walrus hunters for at least a millennium.
The effort is part of a four-year study of the plants, birds, place names, dialect and culture of King Island, supported by two grants from the National Science Foundation, one for $540,000 and another for $23,000. Kingston — whose team includes an archaeologist, an ornithologist, a botanist, a linguist and 30 elder King Island volunteers — is working to preserve the traditional ecological knowledge of King Islanders, who today use their homeland only as a seasonal hunting camp.
January 30, 2007
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