PATHS ACROSS THE PACIFIC VII, Human Migration across the Oceans

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PATHS ACROSS THE PACIFIC VIII

Shared Ocean, Shared Humanity,
Shared Responsibility

August 14-18, 2013
Sitka Fine Arts Camp
Sheldon Jackson Campus
Sitka, Alaska

Nancy Yaw Davis, Ph.D. , Co Chair
William E. Davis, Ph.D. Co Chair
907 747-3601    nydavis@gci.net

Did humans cross the Pacific Ocean during prehistoric times?
Did they navigate around the Pacific Rim?
What is the evidence?
How compelling are these data?
What additional kinds of information bear on these questions?

CHANGE OF LOCATION
Paths is pleased to announce affiliation with Sitka Fest 2013.
In addition to coming under their umbrella, conference sessions will be held at Rasmuson Hall and in the Allen Auditorium on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. The banquet will still be at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Join us as Oceanographers, Native American Scholars, Anthropologists and other experts discuss these intriguing questions.

Paths Across the Pacific Conferences began in Sitka in 2002. They have been leading the way in reporting and evaluating scientific evidence of human migrations across the world’s oceans.

Human mobility along coasts, between islands and across ocean expanses is being documented by increasingly sophisticated scientific data. By bringing together an unusual and creative mix of scholars with cutting-edge concepts, Paths Across the Pacific has given these ideas momentum.

Paths Across the Pacific 2008 photo by James Poulson

PROGRAM

Curt Ebbesmeyer at Beachcomber's FairThemes of the Meeting - 2013

Shared oceans,  Shared humanity,  Shared responsibility

Island coasts and tidal zones. Ocean currents, gyres and eddies. Catastrophes and human responses. Navigational knowledge and maritime mobility. Native traditions, continuity, and new information. We are connected by our shared seas and their resources. Thoughtful discussion enhances our common humanity.

Paths Across the Pacific VIII conference in 2013 will continue a unique exchange of ideas from many academic sciences in the magnificent, friendly setting of Sitka, a small town on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska. Knowledge from Oceanography, Native Americans, Archaeology, Molecular Anthropology, Coastal Ecology, Geography, and Marine Biology will merge and mix through our special interest in human migrations on, across and around our planet’s oceans. Water, time, genes, history and ideas link us all, differently, creatively and periodically. In what directions might our explorations take us next?

N. Y. Davis, Chair
nydavis@gci.net
907-747-3601

 

Schedule


REVISED AUG 12, 2013

August 14 Wednesday -- Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House

6 p.m. Registration
7 p.m. Opening Reception
Welcome by Sitka Tribe of Alaska: Michael Baines, Council Chairman
Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp #4: Acting President Paulette Moreno
Alaska Native Brotherhood, Camp #1
Introduction of Guest Speakers to Paths and Program Overview
Fish and herring egg salad provided by STA, prepared by Ray Nielsen

August 15 Thursday

8:30 a.m. Registration – Rasmuson Hall, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson
Campus
9 a.m. Human Migrations: Reasons for travel – Rasmuson Hall
Stephen Jett, Why Leave Home? Motives for Transoceanic Crossings
10:00 – 10:30 Break
10:30 Serge Dunis, Human Migrations across the Oceans: The Mythological Routes
11:30 Discussion

12 Noon - Lunch break

1:30 p.m. Human Migrations: Ocean Routes – Rasmuson Hall
Richard T. Callaghan, From West to East Polynesia: Bottlenecks and Possible Solutions
2:30 p.m. Donald P. Ryan, Transpacific Contacts: Current thinking and the perspective
of Thor Hyeredahl
3:30 – 4:00 Break
4:00 p.m Andre V. Tabarev and Alexander N. Popov, Dancing Shamans, Snakes and
Drugs: On the Similar Motifs in the Art of Ancient Cultures of the Far
East and Northern Andes
This paper will be read by Rebecca Osborn

5 p.m. Dinner on your own

7 p.m. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Japanese Tsunami Debris: Drift of Boats, Gods and
Houses from Japan to Alaska – Rasmuson Hall, Sitka Fine Arts
Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus

August 16 Friday

8:30 a.m. Registration– Rasmuson Hall, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus
9 a.m. Coastal Ecosystems – Rasmuson Hall
Thomas F. Thornton, Environmental Shocks, Refuge, and Resilience:
The Role of Alpine Stacked Rock Features in Southeast Alaska
This paper will be read by Anne Pollnow
10:00 – 10:30 Break
10:30 -- Discussion – Coasts, Currents and Disasters

11:30 Participants Group photo – in front of Allen Hall, Sitka Fine Arts campus

12 Noon – Lunch

1:30 p.m. Beachcombing Trip with Curtis Ebbesmeyer – Crescent Harbor departure
Local attractions (if not going on Trip) Please see the Registration Table for
information about the Science Center, Boat House, Museums, hikes, kayaking,
biking, shopping, etc.

5 p.m. Dinner on your own

7 p.m. Brian Kemp, The Entrance of Humans into the Americas: A Genetic
Perspective – Rasmuson Hall, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus

August 17 Saturday

8:45 a.m. Registration – Rasmuson Hall, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus
9 a.m. John Ruskamp, Asiatic Echoes – The Identification of Chinese Pictograms in
North American Rock Writing
10:00 – 10:30 Break
11 a.m. Tom R. Kennedy, Director, Zuni Tourism Program, Zuni, New Mexico
Delicately Dancing Along Main Street: Cultural Tourism & Economic
Development at Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

12 Noon – Lunch

1:30 p. m. Boats and Navigational Knowledge – Rasmuson Hall
Darina Tully, The Use and Tradition of Skin Boats in Ireland in the 21st Century
2:30 Thomas Royer, On the Disappearance of Early Americans from Coastal Alaska

3:30 – 4:00 Break
4:00 p.m. Poster display and discussion: Dancing headdress: Bird over seamonster. The headdress was collected in Sitka by Colyer and donated in 1872 to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The headdress poster displays the “Sacred Bird which brought over Their Ancestors from Asia.”
Tlingit scholars discussion: Bertha Karras and other local residents

6 p.m. Conference Dinner Food, Music, Dance and Poetry from around the Pacific Rim
Harrigan Centennial Hall
7:30 p.m. Dennis Stanford, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. , Ancient Voyagers to a New World

August 18 Sunday

8 a.m. to Noon Wildlife viewing cruise – Crescent Harbor departure

10 a.m. Conference summary and Closing discussion – Rasmuson Hall,
Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus
Frank A. Norick, Beyond Beringia: Facts, Fantasies and Skepticisms
11 a.m Discussion and Conference Evaluation
11:45 a.m. Paulette Moreno - Poems

12 Noon –- Lunch

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Beachcombers’ Fair featuring Curtis Ebbesmeyer – Rasmuson Hall,
Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus
Free and open to the public -- bring your flotsam for Curt to examine

SPEAKERS and TITLES - 2013

DRAFT Aug 1, 2013

Richard T. Callaghan, Ph.D., Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary,
Alberta, Canada
From West to East Polynesia: Bottlenecks and Possible Solutions

Serge Dunis, French Anthropologist, University of French Polynesia, Tahiti.
Author of Pacific Mythology, Thy Name is Woman
Human Migrations across the Oceans: The Mythological Routes

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Ph.D., Oceanographer, Consultant.
Author of Flotsametrics and the Floating World and editor of Beachcombers’ Alert
Japanese Tsunami Debris: Drift of boats, gods and houses from
Japan to Alaska

Stephen Jett, Ph.D., Geographer, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Davis
Author and editor: Precolumbiana
Why Leave Home? Motives for Transoceanic Crossings

Brian Kemp, Ph.D., Molecular Anthropologist
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, and School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University
The Entrance of Humans into the Americas: A Genetic Perspective

Tom R. Kennedy, Director, Zuni Tourism Program, Zuni, New Mexico
Delicately Dancing Along Main Street: Cultural Tourism & Economic
Development at Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

Frank A. Norick, Ph.D., Retired Anthropologist/Archaeologist, University of California Berkeley.
Beyond Beringia: Facts, Fantasies and Skepticisms

Thomas Royer, Ph.D., Oceanography, Professor Emeritus, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Convergence of Technology, Materials, Mariner Skills and Desire: Early Boat Voyages to Alaska

John Ruskamp, Ed.D., M.B.A. Naperville, IL
Asiatic Echoes - The Identification of Chinese Pictograms in
North American Rock Writing

Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., Division of Humanities, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington
Transpacific Contacts: Current thinking and the perspective of
Thor Hyerdahl

Dennis J. Stanford, Ph.D.,Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution Director, Paleoindian/Paleoecology Program.
Title of talk: Ancient Voyagers to a New World. When and by how many routes did humans enter the Americas?

Thomas F. Thornton, Ph.D., Director, MSc Environmental Change & Management and Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, U. K.
Environmental Shocks, Refuge, and Resilience: The Role of Alpine Stacked Rock Features in Southeast Alaska
Dennis Stanford, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Ancient Voyagers to a New World

Andrei V. Tabarev, Division of Foreign Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk and Alexander N. Popov, Director of the Museum of the Fareastern Federal University, Vladivostok.
Dancing Shamans, Snakes and Drugs: On the Similar Motives in the Art of Ancient Cultures of the Far East and Northern Andes

Darina Tully, Marine Archaeologist, Ireland Co-ordinator of Maritime Archaeology Studies at Saor-Ollscoil Nah Eireann and Senior Tutor in Ireland for the Nautical Archaeology Society.
The Use and Tradition of Skin Boats in Ireland in the 21st Century

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Abstracts

Coming soon

Registration - 2013

You have two ways to register for this event, online and tradtional mail.

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Visiting Sitka

Transportation

Alaska Airlines logo

Alaska Airlines
1-800-426-0333
907-966-2266 in Sitka.

Alaska Marine Highway logo

Alaska Marine Highway
P.O. Box 25535
Juneau, Alaska 99802-5535
1-800-642-0066
907-747-8737 in Sitka

Lodging

Special rates are available at Westmark Sitka - (800) 544-0970 (Toll Free) and Totem Square Inn - (866) 300-1353 (Toll Free).

For B&Bs, please check with the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Dining

Please visit this website for a list of Sitka restaurants with addresses and phone numbers http://travelsitka.com/dining.html

Things To Do

Visit Sitka Through Four Seasons at www.travelsitka.com for ideas of what to do in Sitka.

History

Archives

Nancy Yaw Davis, Ph.D.

TOPICS FROM PATHS CONFERENCES – 2002 - 2010

MARITIME ADAPTATIONS AND COASTAL MIGRATIONS

Rich, renewable foods along the tidal areas; sea mammals, birds and fish in front of glaciers; uplifted coasts, changing sea levels, periodic earthquakes and tsunami. This interdisciplinary discussion engaged indigenous knowledge, oceanography, geology and anthropology to assess new information and raise new questions.

ISLAND HOPPING ACROSS OCEANS AND AROUND THE COASTS

Native oral traditions, modern sailing experiences, maps and distances, contemporary sciences on fisheries, currents and winds provided topics for this discussion.

LANGUAGE LINKS AROUND THE RIM

Amerind and Austronesian? Mayan and Chinese? Japanese and Zuni? Phonemes and Vocabulary. Syntax and grammar. Borrowed words or accidental similarities? Possible connections in the past? Or indicators of human capacity for independent linguistic innovations? How shall we begin these conversations?

TRANSPACIFIC INFLUENCES: WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE AND WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA?

If there is evidence from botany, if there are similar words associated with the plants, if there are specific genetic features and cultural items suggesting prehistoric connections, how do we establish criteria and paradigms to assess significance? At what point is the evidence compelling? How much data in how many different sciences does it take to have a case worth investigating further?

RAFTS, KAYAKS, AND CANOES: WIND, SAILS AND INTELLIGENCE

What does it take to navigate ocean coasts and seas? If homo sapiens were coastal dwellers 50,000 years ago with the same genetically-based intelligence as modern humans have today, what would have prevented them from venturing out on the oceans -- and surviving?
If we can manage coasts and seas today in simple craft, why not also during prehistoric times? Perhaps a case can be made we are dumber now than we were then. Certainly navigational skills, survival knowledge, and information on tracking distances through stars have atrophied in the last century as global urbanization captures and confines us in dense city masses often far away from the seas. Recent revitalization of small watercraft reminds us of what fun they can be, and challenges us to reconnect with our shared oceans.

DISASTERS AND DISPERSALS

What roles have periodic disasters played in the distribution and redistribution of people across the planet? How many times during our hominid pasts have massive earthquakes set off destructive tsunami, wiping out coastal communities and forcing survivors to relocate? Might tsunami of the past sent humans, clinging to debris, safely to islands near and far? The lessons of the 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami sharpen our awareness of our vulnerability to surprises. Disasters present a challenge to think about how hazards of the past rearranged our species and related ecosystems. Might volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami, droughts, epidemics, and El Ninos be major sources of dispersal across oceans and along coasts?

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Links

Contact Us

Paths Across the Pacific
PO Box 6494
Sitka, AK 99835

907-747-3601

Nancy Yaw Davis: nydavis@gci.net

William Davis: daviswme@gci.net

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