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The Diamond Jenness Collections from Bering Strait

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It is not widely appreciated that the first systematic archaeological work in Alaska was undertaken by Diamond Jenness of the National Museum of Canada (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). In 1926 Jenness worked at two locations on Bering Strait: Cape Prince of Wales and Little Diomede Island. This work resulted in the first identification of Old Bering Sea culture It is not widely appreciated that the first systematic archaeological work in Alaska was undertaken by Diamond Jenness of the National Museum of Canada (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). In 1926 Jenness worked at two locations on Bering Strait: Cape Prince of Wales and Little Diomede Island. This work resulted in the first identification of Old Bering Sea culture and determined the stratigraphic position of Thule culture in Alaska, laying the groundwork for later investigations by Collins, Giddings and others. Jenness summarized all this in the space of a few published pages; his collections have never been described. This study examines the Bering Strait collections in the light of nearly 65 years of archaeological research in Alaska. Spanning nearly 2,000 years of Eskimo prehistory, these collections are aesthestically magnificent and document the intensive cultural interaction across Bering Strait and between Yupik and Inupiat speaking people.


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It is not widely appreciated that the first systematic archaeological work in Alaska was undertaken by Diamond Jenness of the National Museum of Canada (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). In 1926 Jenness worked at two locations on Bering Strait: Cape Prince of Wales and Little Diomede Island. This work resulted in the first identification of Old Bering Sea culture It is not widely appreciated that the first systematic archaeological work in Alaska was undertaken by Diamond Jenness of the National Museum of Canada (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). In 1926 Jenness worked at two locations on Bering Strait: Cape Prince of Wales and Little Diomede Island. This work resulted in the first identification of Old Bering Sea culture and determined the stratigraphic position of Thule culture in Alaska, laying the groundwork for later investigations by Collins, Giddings and others. Jenness summarized all this in the space of a few published pages; his collections have never been described. This study examines the Bering Strait collections in the light of nearly 65 years of archaeological research in Alaska. Spanning nearly 2,000 years of Eskimo prehistory, these collections are aesthestically magnificent and document the intensive cultural interaction across Bering Strait and between Yupik and Inupiat speaking people.

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