Preliminary results of new excavations on Jens Munk Island, Foxe Basin, Arctic Canada

Author(s): Kathryn Kotar; James M. Savelle

Year: 2017


Paleo-Inuit groups settled and inhabited the Canadian Arctic from 2800 B.C. until the arrival of Thule Inuit groups approximately 1200 A.D. Previous archaeological research indicated that Paleo-Inuit populations were particularly large and stable in a "core area" comprising Foxe Basin, Nunavut, and adjacent regions. The diverse and supposedly stable resources of this area allowed people to continuously inhabit the region for almost 3000 years, including a supposedly smooth transition from the early (Pre-Dorset) to late (Dorset) phases of the Paleo-Inuit Period. The core area model persists in Arctic archaeology, despite recent critiques and a paucity of primary data. In summer 2016, we began new excavations at Kapuivik on Jens Munk Island to shed light on this argued continuity. The field season was part of Savelle’s ongoing research project regarding the core area model, which began in 2002. Our investigations targeted dwelling features from transitional levels (i.e., late Pre-Dorset and early Dorset) to document change between the two periods; that is, whether it was in situ development or a replacement population that spurred a cultural shift. This paper will present our initial results, with a particular emphasis on the recovered faunal remains.

Cite this Record

Preliminary results of new excavations on Jens Munk Island, Foxe Basin, Arctic Canada. Kathryn Kotar, James M. Savelle. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428843)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15468