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Making Labrador Home: Concerns and Considerations of How We Think About the Thule in Labrador, Canada

Author(s): Susan Kaplan

Year: 2014

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Summary

Investigations of the Labrador Inuit-European contact period focus on a diversity of topics, including environmental, economic, technological, spiritual, and social factors. In contrast, an economic lens dominates discussions of when and why Thule groups settled Labrador. In addition, some researchers are questioning whether the settlers were ‘really’ prehistoric Thule groups, or had knowledge of or contact with Europeans before settling Labrador’s shores. This paper uses archaeological and ethnohistorical examples to raise questions about the cultural models being employed to understand the earliest Thule migration into and occupation of Labrador, and to characterize cultures as belonging in a prehistoric or contact category. The paper calls for use of dendrochronology to date Labrador Thule/Inuit sites and the adoption of a multi-pronged investigative approach to understanding life of the earliest Thule inhabitants of the region.


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Making Labrador Home: Concerns and Considerations of How We Think About the Thule in Labrador, Canada. Susan Kaplan. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437208)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-66,03

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