Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Alaska Journal of Anthropology 16:2 (2018), pp 24-48.


US govt


The existence and variability of human-made rock cairns in subalpine and alpine settings of Southeast Alaska is increasingly well documented. Whete these features were constructed prehistorically and prorohistorically is a fundamental component to assessing the socioecological role of these modifications to a landscape that is, for the most patt, devoid of other physical manifestations of past human activities. Based on information compiled from investigations in the northern portion of Baranof Island and vicinity, we explore the physical and social environmental conditions that may underlie decisions to create the cairns, some of which are estimated to have been built approximately 500 to 1500 years before present (YBP). Exploratory spatial analyses of the Iocational attributes of these rock features is pursued with the goal of assessing possible Tlingit activities in this subalpine and alpine environment while embracing the evolvement of social significance attached to this setting.