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    Naturevolume 134pages779781 (1934) | Download Citation



    Archaeology in North-East Greenland. In the course of a hunting expedition to north-east Greenland in 1929-31, and a further expedition in 1932-33, the remains of ancient Eskimo settlements extending from Cape Borlase Warren to the south of Antarctic Harbour were examined by Dr. Soren Richter, whose report is published under the title “A Contribution to the Archaeology of North-East Greenland” (Skriften om Svalbard og Ishaveg, No. 63). The Eskimo evidently chose the sites of their permanent habita tions, their winter huts, with an eye to the factors of light, hunting and facility for movement afforded by the state of the ground. They were always near the coast, as watching for marine animals was then their most constant occupation. Small game was also hunted; but reindeer hunting apparently took place only in the late summer and autumn. About 270 Eskimo huts, distributed in 58 settlements in the region of the north-east, are now known to the author, and about 150 to the north and south belonging to the abandoned north-east district. Probably most of the settlements were occupied only for a very short time, and the population was small and readily migratory. Two settlements only had more than ten huts. The huts are fundamentally of the same type, characterised by being built into a slope, with the roof practically flush with the terrain. The walls were built of single broad stones or narwhal skulls, placed edgewise, serving mainly to prevent the sides from falling in. Curiously enough, narwhal skulls were preferred, even when stone was available. The culture throughout is remarkable for its versatility, but shows no sign of a very high antiquity, a date of about five hundred years ago being suggested.

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