A Late Pleistocene Antler Artifact from the Klondike District, Yukon Territory, Canada
Keywords:Antlers, Artifacts, Pleistocene epoch, Prehistoric man, Radioactive dating, Dawson region, Yukon
A modified caribou antler, interpreted as a flintknapper's punch, was collected with hundreds of other Pleistocene mammal bones at Hunker Creek near Dawson City, Yukon Territory. It has yielded a radiocarbon date of 11,350 ± 110 B.P. by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Although the specimen was not found in stratigraphic context, we infer its probable burial history from its radiocarbon age and surface alteration, and its artifactual nature from the way it has been modified. Since it is contemporaneous with Alaskan and Yukon sites containing core and blade technology, the punch may have been used for indirect percussion flaking of stone tools and preforms.
Key words: caribou, Rangifer tarandus, Yukon Territory, late Pleistocene, bone tool