Volume 71, Issue 5 p. 857-863

Toward a Prehistory of the Na-Dene, with a General Comment on Population Movements among Nomadic Hunters



University of Oregon

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First published: October 1969
Citations: 8


C. E. Borden has hypothesized that ancestral speakers of Na-Dene spread from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest by 5000 B.C. Based upon distributions of language and artifacts, two additional hypotheses are added here: (1) Once established from Alaska through British Columbia, Na-Dene people provided the means for the spread of side-notched projectile blades from the continental United States to Alaska before 4000 B.C. (2) After the Hypsithermal a further dispersal south and east from Alaska spread the specifically Athapaskan languages. It is further suggested that the spread of relatively nomadic hunters into country inhabited by their own linguistic and cultural relatives may be a regular and periodic occurrence.