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Comparative Faunal Analysis of Four Early Thule House Features from Cape Espenberg, Alaska, and Inglefield Land, Greenland

Author(s): Jeremy Foin

Year: 2015

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Summary

The Thule expansion was the extremely swift colonization of the eastern Canadian Arctic and Greenland by Thule Inuit moving east out of Alaska ca. AD 1000-1300. The rapid pace of the migration implies that it may have taken these pioneering Thule groups some time to "settle in" to their new environment. Poor familiarity with local conditions should be reflected in the zooarchaeological record as highly uneven, low-diversity faunal assemblages, with a heavy bias toward small phocids in the earliest sites (e.g., Darwent and Foin 2010). In addition, houses should have similar internal organization owing to their shared ancestry.

In 2009, two well-preserved early Thule house features were excavated at Qaqaitsut, northwest Greenland, radiocarbon dated to ca. AD 1300-1400 and AD 1350-1450. In 2010, two well-preserved early Thule house features were excavated at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, dated to ca. AD 1270-1320 and AD 1450-1500. The faunal assemblages from all four features were subjected to detailed zooarchaeological analysis in order to explore similarities and differences in species composition, cultural and natural bone modification, discard patterns, and use of space by early Thule peoples on opposite sides of the Arctic.

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Comparative Faunal Analysis of Four Early Thule House Features from Cape Espenberg, Alaska, and Inglefield Land, Greenland. Jeremy Foin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395761)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Arctic


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America