Punuk Culture

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Punuk Culture


an Eskimo culture that existed from 600 to 1100 A.D. along the shores and on the islands of the Bering Sea and the Bering Strait and on the neighboring arctic shores, from the mouth of the Kolyma River to Point Barrow. The culture was discovered by H. B. Collins in 1928 on the Punuk and St. Lawrence islands.

The Punuk culture developed from the earlier Ancient (Old) Bering Sea Culture, differing from it in the use of simple bone toggle-harpoon heads with single lateral barbs, in a predominance of polished slate implements, and in the use of whale bones in the construction of dwellings. Sculpture and engraving became simplified and stylized, and curvilinear designs were replaced by geometrical designs. In addition to seal and walrus hunting, whaling from large boats and hunting on land were also developed. War implements also appeared with the Punuk culture (bone armor plating of Asiatic origin has been found).


Rudenko, S. I. Drevniaia kul’lura Beringova moria i eskimosskaia problema. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Collins, H. B. Archaeology of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Washington, D.C., 1937.
Bandi, H. G. Urgeschichte der Eskimo. Stuttgart, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Alongside is a Greek bronze hydria of the 5th century BC, its handle terminating with a crouching, roaring lion, and a pair of Eskimo walrus-tusk snow goggles from the Punuk culture that existed around 600-1100; 19th-century scientists found them to be far more effective than tinted glasses in the blinding Arctic light.
The earliest example is reported from Miyowagh H3, a house of the Old Bering Sea culture, and from Ievoghiyoq H6 and H7, of the Punuk culture (Collins, 1937).