Skip to the content of the web site.

The Norton tradition

The Norton tradition is an Alaskan phenomenon which is generally defined as including the Choris culture, the Norton culture, and the Ipiutak culture. The Norton tradition lasted from 3000 years ago until 1000 years ago in some areas. Artifact assemblages typically contain flaked stone tools that are similar to those found in the earlier Denbigh Flint complex of the preceding Arctic Small Tool tradition but most Norton tradition assemblages also contain pottery and oil lamps, which are not found in ASTt assemblages. Ipiutak is the most striking culture of the Norton tradition, taking its name from a site near Point Hope, Alaska that contained over 60 semisubterranean houses and a cemetery. Some of the elaborate ivory carvings from the graves suggest links to art styles of Asia. In Alaska the Norton tradition is followed by the cultures of the Thule tradition.

Click here to see two artifacts from the Norton tradition.