Faunal and Archaeological Remains as Evidence of Climate Change in Freezing Caverns, Yukon Territory, Canada

  • Bernard Lauriol
  • Clément Prévost
  • Éric Deschamps
  • Jacques Cinq-Mars
  • Sylvain Labrecque
Keywords: Yukon Territory, Porcupine River, Ogilvie Mountains, caves, glacières, karst, biotic remains, prehistoric remains, limestone mountains


Animal and plant remains, some associated with prehistoric artifacts, were collected in freezing caverns (glacières) of northern Yukon Territory. Radiocarbon dates show that the oldest remains are Middle Wisconsinan ca. 38 000 BP). The absence of material of Late Wisconsinan age likely indicates that the caves were infilled by ice during this cold period. Climate warming and ice melting during the Holocene allowed animals and prehistoric hunters to regularly visit these caves. Ice plugs were evidently smaller during the early Holocene than they are now.