Bering Sea Culture, Ancient

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bering Sea Culture, Ancient


an ancient Eskimo culture that existed from the third century B.C. until the first few centuries A.D. on the coast and islands of the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and the neighboring arctic shores.

The Ancient Bering Sea Culture was investigated by the excavations of Soviet and American scholars between 1926 and the 1960’s. It is characterized by partially underground quadrangular houses, made of driftwood, with entrance tunnels; chipped flint and ground slate implements; detachable harpoon points made of walrus tusk; and earthenware, clay lamps, walrus tusk sculpture (“winged objects,” animal figurines), and curvilinear ornaments. The Eskimos of the Ancient Bering Sea period hunted walrus and seals and had a primitive communal social system.


Rudenko, S. I. Drevniaia kul’tura Beringova moria i eskimosskaia problema. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Collins, H. B. Archaeology of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Washington, 1937.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.