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4.2.05

Discovery in Greenland

I remember seeing this article (Groenland: découverte archéologique, August 26, 2004) by Laurent Ribadeau-Dumas for France 2 Cultural News last summer but did not mention it here. So, this is a bit late but my interest was piqued when I came across it again (my translation):

Inuit burial sites clearly dating back to the 13th century have been discovered in northern Greenland. A team of seven Greenlander, Danish, and Canadian archeologists have also uncovered stone markers, tent rings, and the remains of winter houses. Some of these ruins may date back to the first centuries of the Christian era. The expedition of archeologists, which lasted six weeks, was intended to trace the principal period of Inuit history: the Dorset culture (about 900 BC to 1350 AD) and the Thule culture (900 to 1650 AD) in the region. It was financed by American funds as part of a project commemorating the American explorer Robert Peary. He was the first man to reach the North Pole, on April 6, 1909, and for whom the northern territory of Greenland is named: Peary Land.
I believe this is the work of the Inglefield Land Archaeology Project, which is planning more trips to Greenland. Genevieve LeMoine, curator of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College, was one of the leaders of the project this summer. There is some more information (and, God be praised, some pictures) of their work in an article (Bowdoin Arctic Survey Reveals Early Settlements, October 3, 2004) published on the college's Web site:
It's the start of what she expects will be nearly a decade of fieldwork surveying and excavating extensive settlements of prehistoric and protohistoric Inughuit dwellers -- sometimes called Polar Eskimoes -- in an area previously thought to be sparsely settled. "You could hardly walk ten steps without finding evidence that people were there," marvels LeMoine. "That might surprise people. We found heavily built stone houses, tent rings, and stone walls in rows three to four stones high. Some of the stones we figure would have taken four men to move."
Someone should get this woman a blog.

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