Title

Ash and Trash: Geochronology of Human Occupation in the Aleutians

Presenter

Jon Miranda

Abstract

The native Unangan people of Alaska left no written record of their migration across the volcanic islands of the Aleutian archipelago. Using ash deposits from local volcanoes, my research focused on dating the occupation of village sites in the Islands of Four Mountains volcanic cluster. Across the islands successive village soil layers are separated by ash layers. I used geochemical analysis combined with carbon dates of organic matter from trash pits in village layers to match these strata across several sites, establishing a new timeline of human and volcanic activity in the area. This history of human occupation in the Aleutians gives insight into how people moved across the region and how their interactions with volcanoes shaped the journey.

Faculty Sponsor

Kirsten Nicolaysen

Sponsor Department/Programs

Geology

Tracks

Geology and Climate

Location

Science 159

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

National Science Foundation

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Apr 19th, 10:45 AM Apr 19th, 11:00 AM

Ash and Trash: Geochronology of Human Occupation in the Aleutians

Science 159

The native Unangan people of Alaska left no written record of their migration across the volcanic islands of the Aleutian archipelago. Using ash deposits from local volcanoes, my research focused on dating the occupation of village sites in the Islands of Four Mountains volcanic cluster. Across the islands successive village soil layers are separated by ash layers. I used geochemical analysis combined with carbon dates of organic matter from trash pits in village layers to match these strata across several sites, establishing a new timeline of human and volcanic activity in the area. This history of human occupation in the Aleutians gives insight into how people moved across the region and how their interactions with volcanoes shaped the journey.