A major challenge to the study of the peopling of the Americas is that much of the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), the geographic area that people migrating from Northeast Asia into North America would presumably have passed through, is now submerged due to sea-level rise since the last glacial maximum. The scale of this submerged land mass further adds to the challenge of how to search for archaeological evidence of the human migration. This thesis proposes an approach to submerged site discovery in Beringia intended to reduce the total area that needs to be considered in a predictive model by focusing on a key resource, salmon. The cultural importance of salmon to Indigenous peoples across the North Pacific is broadly acknowledged, and increasingly, that importance is being incorporated into hypotheses regarding the peopling of the Americas. The concept of salmon as a “magnet” resource is used here as a way to prioritize submerged areas for further analysis toward a predictive site discovery model. This paper incorporates studies of modern salmon DNA, ethnography, archaeology, and geo-spatial analyses into the preliminary phases of a predictive model. The framework of the Danish Model for submerged site discovery is adapted here for Beringia. The analyses discussed here are aimed at identifying areas within the larger region that would be suitable for further phase III and IV investigation.
Krier, Jon C. Looking for Fish of the Right Age: Developing Predictive Modeling for Submerged Sites Using GIS, Salmon Genetics, and the Human Ecology of Salmon. Master's thesis, Oregon State University, 2018.