I presented a seminar at School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks.
SUMMARY: GIS maps reveal that archeological sites in the Gulf of Alaska region are highly clustered. Crowell et al., has suggested that clustering of sites is driven by spatial patterns of 24 marine resources. These resources are known to be important from bone fragments found at archeological sites and also from oral histories. We constructed a data base of subsistence resources available at 6800 beach segments from data sources of ADFG and NOAA. Factor analysis reduced dimensionality from 24 to six factor variables. We used a Metropolis-Hastings algorithm to fit a spatial model of the site count per beach segment to the six factor variables. The average site count on neighboring segments is the strongest predictor of a site on a given segment. We found that the factor variables named ‘salmon streams’, ‘herring/halibut/cod’ and ‘sea bird colonies/seal rookeries’, are strong predictors of archeological sites. We infer that beaches with at least 10 resources were most likely to have archeological sites. We discern different site selection strategies within the several sub-regions, based on what resources are most available.