Shore Whalers of the Outer Banks: A Material Culture Study

Author(s): Ryan J Bradley

Year: 2015


Since the Colonial period, inhabitants of the Outer Banks of North Carolina processed right whales to augment their existence until the turn of the 20th century.  What began as drift-whale scavenging became organized hunts.  Each spring, the locals kept lookouts from high dunes and launched boats from shore in pursuit of whales.  The historical record indicates that they did so for over two centuries with moderate success.  Locating archaeological signatures along this coast is problematic due to the dynamic landscape encountered there.  This paper examines ex situ material culture found within the state of the North Carolina.  These artifacts, from both public and private collections, are currently all that remain from this ephemeral industry.  This paper explores what the artifacts can tell us about the industry, the people that plied it, and the quarry they pursued.

Cite this Record

Shore Whalers of the Outer Banks: A Material Culture Study. Ryan J Bradley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433855)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 396