Centering Alluitsoq: The Potential for an Indigenous Archaeology in Greenland

Author(s): Cameron Turley

Year: 2018


Postcolonial and Indigenous archaeologies have changed the theoretical, methodological, and political landscapes of our discipline’s engagement with regions and peoples once conceptualized as peripheral to the European core. However, some regions, and the subjects that move within them, still occupy the conceptual margins. This paper considers the position of archaeological praxes in Greenland, a constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark, and the late arrival of the postcolonial critique to Greenlandic archaeology. A new research project at Alluitsoq, formerly the German Moravian mission of Lichtenau, is taking up the agenda of the postcolonial critique and the movement toward an Indigenous archaeology. Using Alluitsoq as a case study, this paper discusses the implementation of theoretical and methodological strategies to center new subjects in a region dominated by Euro- and Paleo-focused studies. The author and a Greenlandic scholar are working together to collect oral histories from the now-dispersed descendant population of Alluitsoq to bring the community to the interpretive table. It is our hope that collaborative efforts in project design, fieldwork, and interpretation will all contribute to a decolonized archaeological practice in Greenland and produce usable narratives of the past for and by Greenlanders, who today struggle with the question of complete independence.

Cite this Record

Centering Alluitsoq: The Potential for an Indigenous Archaeology in Greenland. Cameron Turley. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444517)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.453; min lat: 50.513 ; max long: -49.043; max lat: 72.712 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20394