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Archaeological Commentary on the Isotopic Study of the Greenland Thule Culture
Hans Christian Gulløv

Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 3 (2012): 65–76

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2012 H.C. Gulløv 65 Introduction By about AD 1200, the Neo-Eskimo Thule culture had spread as far east as Smith Sound in High Arctic Greenland. The Thule culture’s highly developed transport technology, consisting of large skin boats for whale hunting and long-distance travel, kayaks for local hunting, and dog-sleds for winter travel were introduced to Greenland by these people. The eastward expansion from Alaska took place in a climatic warm period, which influenced human development in the entire northern hemisphere and had led to a westward expansion from Northern Europe 200 years earlier, whereby southern Greenland was colonized by Icelandic farmers. It was not until the 15th century, however, that large Thule winter villages were to be found along the entire west coast and large parts of the east coast of Greenland, and by that time, the Norse were gone. This post-Norse period is coincident with the beginning of the so-called “Little Ice Age”, in which the Thule culture’s demographic center moved southwards. This historical background is the point of departure for the following review of Thule culture subsistence economy, as it is known through archaeological investigation of Neo-Eskimo settlements and grave sites in Greenland. The primary goal here is to focus on comparative material against which to evaluate the results obtained by the isotopic analyses of human remains from the grave sites (Nelson et al. 2012 [this volume]). For several of these sites, little previous archaeological analysis has been undertaken. That which follows is, therefore, a first overview made entirely for the purpose of examining the isotopic interpretations. As will become evident, this comparison indicates that future studies involving careful application of both traditional archaeological and isotopic analyses could be most fruitful. The oldest graves with well-established ages date to the 15th century (Grummegaard-Nielsen 1997, Hart Hansen and Gulløv 1989). As yet, no graves from the earliest Thule immigrants in High Arctic North Greenland have been found, perhaps because other burial forms (such as simple deposition of the body on land or in the sea) were in use at the time (Holtved 1944:147); the archaeological material under study here thus comes from regions outside High Arctic North Greenland and covers the approximately three-century-long period beginning in the 15th century and ending in the 18th century. Geographical Distribution of the Graves To make this archaeological analysis directly comparable to that undertaken in the isotopic study, the sites to be discussed below are grouped into the same general regions as those used in that study (Figs. 1 and 2). The archaeological information available for these sites is summarized below. Low Arctic West Greenland A total of 42 individuals were examined from the following six sites: Inussuk, Upernavik district - three individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1930:165–166). Comparative faunal analysis, see Møhl (1979). Illutalik, Disko Bay - four individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1934a:63, 67–69). No published faunal analysis. Archaeological Commentary on the Isotopic Study of the Greenland Thule Culture Hans Christian Gulløv* Abstract - An archaeological commentary is given on the results of the first isotopic study of the Greenland Thule culture. To test the isotopic data derived from human remains from the graves, comparative archaeological data of the faunal and artifactual material from the sites are presented. To make the two data sets comparable, the faunal material are presented in NISP and the artifactual material are presented as technounits. The three data sets given, i.e., the isotopic, the faunal, and the artifactual, confirm that the Inuit were heavily reliant on marine protein and resources. Exceptions are those from Northeast Greenland, whose isotopic signatures show evidence of consumption of terrestrial protein as well, a statement confirmed by the archaeological material, faunal as well as artifactual, showing that ca. 20% and 40% of bones as well as technounits found on coastal and inland sites, respectively, are related to terrestrial resources. The conclusion made is that the isotopic analyses are valid in archaeological contexts and support the archaeological material. Concerning the substantial use of inland resources in Northeast Greenland compared with the ethnographically documented intensive caribou hunting in West Greenland, the former region still remains most enigmatic from a cultural point of view. Special Volume 3:65–76 Greenland Isotope Project: Diet in Norse Greenland AD 1000–AD 1450 Journal of the North Atlantic *Ehtnographical Unit, National Museum of Denmark, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, DK-1220 Copenhagen K, Denmark; hans. christian.gulloev@natmus.dk. 2012 66 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 3 Figure 1. Place names mentioned: 1. Inussuk, 2. Nuugaarsuk, 3. Nuugaaq, 4. Illutalik, 5. Asummiut, 6. Utoqqaat, 7. Qoornoq, 8. Ameralik Fjord, 9. Illorpaat, 10. Uunartoq, 11. Ruinnæsset, 12. Southern Skjoldeunge Sound, 13. Sermilik Fjord, 14. Suukkersit, 15. Skærgårdshalvø, 16. Uunarteq, 17. Cape Harry, 18. Suess Land, 19. Dødemandsbugten, 20. Rypefjeldet, 21. Stormbugt. 2012 H.C. Gulløv 67 Nuugaaq, Disko Bay - four individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1934a:29). No faunal analysis. Asummiut, Sisimiut district - 23 individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Grummesgaard- Nielsen (1997:198–227). No faunal analysis. Utoqqaat, Maniitsoq district - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1931:29). Faunal analysis, see Mathiassen (1931:134–139). Qoornoq, Nuuk district - two individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Gulløv (1983:47– 48, 1997a:338–343). Comparative faunal analysis, see Møhl (1982:286–290, 1997:495–501). Sub-Arctic South Greenland A total of five individuals from one grave were analyzed: Uunartoq, Nanortalik regionfi ve individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen and Holtved (1936:64). Faunal analysis, see Mathiassen and Holtved (1936:131–133). Low Arctic Southeast Greenland A total of five individuals from three sites were analyzed: Ruinnæsset, Skjoldungen region - two individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1936:43–44). Comparative faunal analysis, see Gotfredsen et al. (1994:46–55). Suukkersit, Ammassalik region - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Mathiassen (1933:37). No published faunal analysis. Skærgårdshalvø, Kangerlussuaq region - two individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Larsen (1938:22). No published faunal analysis. High Arctic Northeast Greenland A total of 18 individuals from six sites: Uunarteq, Scoresby Sound - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Amdrup (1909:314– 315). No faunal analysis. Cape Harry, King Oscar Fjord region - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Glob (1935:18). Faunal analysis, see Glob (1935:93–97). Suess Land, Antarctic Sound region - four individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Glob (1935:34). Faunal analysis, see Glob (1935:93–97). Dødemandsbugten, Clavering Island - ten individuals. Archaeological documentation, see Larsen (1934:68–70). Faunal analysis, see Larsen (1934:173–180). Figure 2. Climatic regions in Greenland. Sites with graves mentioned: 1. Inussuk, 2. Nuugaaq, 3. Illutalik, 4. Asummiut, 5. Utoqqaat, 6. Qoornoq, 7. Uunartoq, 8. Ruinnæsset, 9. Suukkersit, 10. Skærgårdshalvø, 11. Uunarteq, 12. Cape Harry, 13. Suess Land, 14. Dødemandsbugten, 15. Rypefjeldet, 16. Stormbugt. 68 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 3 Rypefjeldet, Dove Bay - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Thostrup (1911:306). No faunal analysis. Stormbugt, Dove Bay - one individual. Archaeological documentation, see Thostrup (1911:267). No faunal analysis. Dietary Composition The 65 individuals isotopically analyzed were derived from 16 sites in the following climatically defined regions (Fig. 2): Low Arctic Northwest Greenland -between Upernavik district and Disko Bay, includes the sites Inussuk, Illutalik, and Nuugaaq. Low Arctic Southwest Greenland - with winter icefree water between Sisimiut district and Paamiut district, including the sites Asummiut, Utoqqaat, and Qoornoq. Sub Arctic South Greenland - the Qaqortoq (Julianehåb) district, with the single site Uunartoq. Low Arctic Southeast Greenland - between Cape Farewell and Kangerlussuaq, includes the sites Ruinnæsset, Suukkersit, and Skærgårdshalvø. High Arctic Northeast Greenland - between Scoresby Sound and Dove Bay, includes several sites: Uunarteq, Cape Harry, Suess Land, Dødemandsbugten, Rypefjeldet, and Stormbugt. Several of these graves are from localities in which no other archaeological studies have been undertaken; for example, construction of a local airport at Asummiut limited the breadth of the study. However, for most of these localities, it has been possible to find in the published literature the archaeological and zoological information required to examine the basis of the dietary economy of the local Thule culture population. Animal species identified from Thule culture faunal material is divided by geographic region and presented in Table 1. For some geographic areas, the faunal remains (primarily from winter sites) were quantified by the relative frequency for major taxa and presented in Table 2 below. Percentage of faunal remains from sea hunting (i.e., polar Table 1. Geographical distribution of faunal remains. C.I. = Clavering Island (Larsen 1934); K.O.F. = King Oscar Fjord region (Glob 1935); S.S. = Skjoldunge Sound (Gotfredsen et al. 1994); J.D. = Julianehåb District (Mathiassen and Holtved 1936); N.c. = Nuuk coast (Møhl 1997); N.f. = Nuuk fjord (Møhl 1982); U. = Utorqqaat (Mathiassen 1931); N. = Nuugaarsuk, Upernavik (Møhl 1979). NE SE S SW NW C.I. K.O.F. S.S. J.D. N.c. N.f. U. N. Land mammals Caribou x x - x x x x x Musk ox x - - - - - - - Fox x x x x x x x - Hare x x - x - x - - Sea mammals Polar bear x x x x - - x x Walrus x x - x - - x x Ringed seal x x x x x x x x Harp seal x x x x x x x x Bearded seal x x x x - - x x Hooded seal - - x x x - - - Harbour seal - - x x x x x x Whales, small x x - x x - - x Whales, large x x x x x - x x Birds Kittiwake - - - - x x x x Glaucous gull - x x x x - x x Iceland gull - - x x x x - x Fulmar - - - - x - - x Shearwater - - - - x - x - Old-squaw - - - - x - - - Cormorant - - - x x - x x Red-breasted merganser - - - - x - x - Razorbill - - x - - - x - Brünnich’s murre - - x x x x x - Puffin - - - - - - x - Dovekie - - x - x x - - Black guillemot - - x x x - x x Great auk - - - - x - - - Common eider - - - - x - x x King eider - - - - - - x - Mallard - - - x - x x Red-throated diver - - x - x - - - White-tailed eagle - - - x - - x - Gyrfalcon - - - - x - - - Whooper swan - - - - - - x - Ptarmigan - x x x x x x - Raven - - x x x x x x Fish Cod - - x x x - x - Redfish - - x - - - - - Sculpin - - x - - - x - Greenland halibut - - x - - - - - Halibut - - - x - - x - Char - - x - - - - - Shellfish Mussels - - - - x x - - 2012 H.C. Gulløv 69 bear, walrus, seal, whale, and birds), from land hunting (i.e., fox, hare, caribou, musk ox, and ptarmigan), and from fishing (i.e., fish and mussels) are presented in Figure 3. It is clear that seal hunting is the basis of the Thule culture dietary economy. One possible exception is the coast of Southwest Greenland, where the sea is ice-free in the winter, when murres from the North arrive in large numbers. A second exception is Northeast Greenland, which is the only region for which hunting of terrestrial mammals is reflected in the published faunal analyses (cf. Fig. 3). Hunting and Fishing To supplement this faunal evidence, Table 3 below reviews the artifactual material, which relates to hunting equipment (both on the sea and on land) and to fishing. Descriptions of this equipment can be done in detail for the Thule culture, and thus each defined object represents a “technounit” that makes a particular contribution to the overall implement (Gulløv 1997a:110; Oswalt 1976, 1987:82). Sea-based hunting is represented in the archaeological record by harpoons and bird darts and their associated equipment such as wound plugs and throwing boards. Hunting on land was done with bow and arrow, bola, and gull hook. Fishing equipment included jigs, large hooks, and leisters and their individual parts such as sinkers and barbs. The numbers of these technounits are given in Table 3 for each defined region. It would appear that the relative numbers of artifacts associated with sea hunting are approximately the same in each of these regions, while the importance of fishing is slightly higher to the south (Fig. 4). This last statement may reflect the circumstances in the “Little Ice Age” (17th and 18th centuries), during which the South Greenlanders travelled northwards to obtain baleen for fishing line, and the Southeast Greenlanders used halibut fat as a fuel for their lamps (Gulløv 1995:25, 1997b). The fishery on the Southeast coast was influenced by the Atlantic Irminger current, which reaches the coast at about Ammassalik. The correlation between these artifactual and faunal data sets can now be used to evaluate the conclusions drawn from the isotopic study. In Table 4, the relative proportions of marine fauna (polar bear, walrus, seal, whale, and birds), terrestrial fauna (fox, hare, caribou, musk ox, and ptarmigan), and Table 2. Quantification of faunal remains given in numbers of identified specimens (NISP) found at sites grouped by study region. Sites Major fauna NISP Low Arctic Northwest Greenland Nuugaarsuk, Upernavik (Møhl 1979) (n = 26,828) Caribou 1.2% (n = 318) Polar bear 0.02% (n = 5) Walrus 0.09% (n = 24) Seals 96.5% (n = 25,892) Whales 0.9% (n = 248) Birds 1.3% (n = 341) Ringed seal = 84% (n = 2967) of total seals identified to species (n = 3554). Eider duck = 65% (n = 222) of total birds identified to species (n = 341). Low Arctic Southwest Greenland Illorpaat, Nuuk, coast (Møhl 1997) (n = 73,111) Caribou 0.2% (n = 149) Fox 0.06% (n = 41) Seals 24.3% (n = 17,749) Whales 0.4% (n = 265) Birds 74.4% (n = 54,415) Fish/Mussels 0.6% (n = 492) Harp seal = 93% (n = 835) of total seals identified to species (n = 896). Murre = 97% (n = 52,822) of total birds identified to species (n = 54,163). Ameralik Fjord, Nuuk, fjord (Møhl 1982) (n = 4842) Caribou 3.6% (n = 174) Fox 0.3% (n = 15) Hare 0.02% (n = 1) Seals 94.1% (n = 4555) Birds 1.8% (n = 88) Mussels 0.2% (n = 9) Harp seal = 92% (n = 199) of total seals identified to species (n = 217). Low Arctic Southeast Greenland Skjoldunge Sound, Skjoldungen (Gotfredsen et al. 1994) (n = 9662). Fox 0.4% (n = 40) Polar bear 0.3% (n = 31) Seals 86.6% (n = 8.366) Whales 0.4% (n = 43) Birds 5.5% (n = 530) Fish 6.8% (n = 652) Ringed seal and harp seal are present in about the same amount and = about 70% (n = 187) of total seals identified to species (n = 270). Sculpin = 76% (n = 360) of total fish identified to species (n = 471). Ptarmigan = 45%, (n = 193), gulls 28% (n = 92) ,and murre 20% (n = 64) of total birds identified to species (n = 320). High Arctic Northeast Greenland King Oscar Fjord region (Glob 1935) (n = 397) Caribou 38.5% (n = 153) Fox 1.3% (n = 5) Hare 3.3% (n = 13) Polar bear 0.8% (n = 3) Walrus 0.5% (n = 2) Seals 53.2% (n = 211) Whales 2.0% (n = 8) Birds 0.5% (n = 2) Ringed seal = 90% (n = 190) of total seals identified to species (n = 211). Dødemandsbugten, Clavering Island (Larsen 1934) (n = 893) Caribou 11.1% (n = 99) Musk ox 1.0% (n = 9) Fox 1.6% (n = 14) Hare 4.9% (n = 44) Polar bear 3.5% (n = 31) Walrus 2.6% (n = 23) Seals 74.0% (n = 661) Whales 1.3% (n = 12) Ringed seals are 79% (n = 524) of total seals identified to species (n = 661). 70 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 3 fish (fish and mussels) as represented by the faunal record are compared against the relative numbers of technounits which represent hunting of each of these three prey classes. No attempt has been made in this overview to provide any more detailed form of quantification, such as minimum numbers of individuals, meat weights, or correlation of different tool parts. Even this simple approach shows a clear similarity between hunting tools and prey species (Fig. 5), which is especially clear in the Northwest and Northeast regions. The fish bones do not seem to reflect the relative numbers of fishing tools, which probably is due to poor preservation of the fragile fish bones in the South Greenland environment, as demonstrated by the faunal figures from fjords (Qoornoq and Ameralik) in the Southwest and sounds (Skjoldunge Sound) in Southeast Greenland, or that discarded fish bones have been consumed by dogs or other species, such as foxes and ravens. One can examine the importance of birds (in particular the murre) to the Thule culture in the Southwest region by comparing the artifactual and faunal data to that in the Upernavik district, as the murre spent the summer at the bird cliffs to the North and the winter in the open water to the South at about the latitude of Nuuk. For the sites Nuugaarsuk in the Northwest and Illorpaat in the Southwest, Table 5 gives the relative Figure 3. Percentage of faunal remains from sea hunting, land hunting, and fishing. Table 3. Quantification of technounits given in numbers of fragments, each representing a specific artifact type. Sea Land Total Location hunting hunting Fishing number Low Arctic Northwest Greenland Nuugaarsuk, Upernavik (Hjarnø 1969) 81.1% 13.4% 5.5% n = 127 Inussuk, Upernavik (Mathiassen 1930) 72.1% 23.6% 4.3% n = 470 Illutalik, Disko Bay (Mathiassen 1934) 77.1% 16.7% 6.2% n = 354 Low Arctic Southwest Greenland Utoqqaat, Maniitsoq (Mathiassen 1931) 74.1% 17.7% 8.2% n = 170 Illorpaat, Nuuk, coast (Gulløv 1997) 79.2% 10.2% 10.6% n = 510 Qoornoq and Ameralik, Nuuk, fjord (Gulløv 1997) 38.2% 41.2% 20.6% n = 34 Sub Arctic South Greenland Julianehåb district (Mathiassen and Holtved 1936) 40.4% 17.5% 42.1% n = 171 Low Arctic Southeast Greenland Skjoldunge Sound, Skjoldungen (Gulløv and 40.3% - 59.7% n = 114 Jensen 1991; Gulløv et al. 1992, 1993) Ammassalik (Mathiassen 1933) 37.9% 1.5% 60.6% n = 1172 Skærgårdshalvø, Kangerlussuaq (Larsen 1938, 80.2% 11.5% 8.3% n = 96 Mathiassen 1934b) High Arctic Northeast Greenland King Oscar Fjord region (Glob 1935) 60.1% 39.9% - n = 223 Dødemandsbugten, Clavering Island (Larsen 1934) 79.7% 20.3% - n = 359 Rypefjeldet and Stormbugt, Dove Bay 62.7% 29.4% 7.9% n = 126 (Thomsen 1917) 2012 H.C. Gulløv 71 numbers of technounits connected to hunting marine mammals and seabirds with the corresponding numbers of identified bones of these species. If these two sites can be considered representative, it would appear that the Southwestern people made more use of seabirds than did the people to their North (Fig. 6). Archaeological Commentary on the Conclusions Drawn from the Isotopic Analyses This basic artifactual and faunal analysis of the material in the archaeological literature can be used as a basis against which to evaluate the isotopic information (Nelson et al. 2012 [this volume]). Low Arctic Northwest Greenland Tunnungassoq (Inussuk). These individuals have primarily based their diet and technology on seal hunting. The archaeological and faunal reference material from Nuugaarsuk, some 25 km away, supports the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses. Illutalik and Nuugaaq. These sites lie 25 km from each other in the northern part of Disko Bay, and they show the same focus on seal hunting as is found in the more northern parts of the region. The conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses are thus in agreement with archaeological expectation. Low Arctic Southwest Greenland Asummiut. Other than the excavations of these graves, there are no other archaeological studies of Thule culture sites in this locale, which lies in the northern portion of the Southwest Greenland openwater region. One may thus expect that seabird hunting here was intensive, as was documented further to the South at Illorpaat in the Nuuk district. In the Paleo- Eskimo (Saqqaq) period, seabird hunting in this region was of considerable importance (Gotfredsen 1998, Gotfredsen and Møbjerg 2004). In contrast, extensive inland caribou hunting does not seem to have had a measurable influence on the local Thule diet, which was strongly dominated by harp seal. This species was also the dominant identified seal at Illorpaat, where there was also intensive inland caribou hunting. The Thule culture Inuit occupied the coast in this region for ten months every year (Grønnow et al. 1983:22). It was to this area that the South Greenlanders travelled to hunt whales. However, the archaeological and faunal material available from the southwest coast supports the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses stressing first priority to a marine diet. Utoqqaat. This locality lies in the openwater area with good seabird and seal hunting. The Thule culture Inuit also utilized the caribou inland. The same circumstances, which were discussed above for Asummiut, are equally applicable to Utoqqaat. Qoornoq. This site is located in the extensive fjord system, which lies inland from Nuuk. The artifactual material indicates increased hunting of land animals and considerable fishing. This finding is not supported by the published faunal data, in which seals dominate (esp. harp seal) as the most numerous species; however, the faunal data does support the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses. Sub Arctic South Greenland Uunartoq. Here, the artifactual material indicates that fishing dominated the other forms of food procurement. However, historic sources (Gulløv 1997a:403) suggest that this was a resource used in times of need, and that seal hunting was the primary source of food. Until 1800 AD, caribou hunting also took place in the region (Meldgaard Table 5. Comparison of winter hunting in Northwest and Southwest Greenland, as reflected in both faunal remains and technounits. Archaeological technounits Faunal remains used for hunting identified Location Birds Mammals n Birds Mammals n Nuugaarsuk, NW 8.4% 91.6% 83 1.2% 98.8% 26,500 Illorpaat, SW 47.3% 52.7% 387 75.1% 24.9% 72,415 Table 4. Comparison of technounits and faunal remains from Tables 2 and 3. Sea Land hunting hunting Fishing Low Arctic Northwest Greenland Nuugaarsuk, Upernavik Archaeology 81.1% 13.4% 5.5% Fauna 98.8% 1.2% - Low Arctic Southwest Greenland Illorpaat, Nuuk, coast Archaeology 79.2% 10.2% 10.5% Fauna 99.0% 0.3% 0.7% Qoornoq and Ameralik, Nuuk, fjord Archaeology 38.2% 41.2% 20.6% Fauna 95.9% 3.9% 0.2% Low Arctic Southeast Greenland Skjoldunge Sound, Skjoldungen Archaeology 40.3% - 59.7% Fauna 91.3% 1.9% 6.8% High Arctic Northeast Greenland King Oscar Fjord region Archaeology 60.1% 39.9% - Fauna 56.7% 43.3% - Dødemandsbugten, Clavering Island Archaeology 79.7% 20.3% - Fauna 81.4% 18.6% - 72 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 3 Ammassalik have travelled for centuries in search of polar bear, ringed seal, harp seal, beluga, and narwhal. The artifactual material complements the historical information and shows that this hunting pattern was also of great importance in prehistoric times, and supports the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses. High Arctic Northeast Greenland Uunarteq. This locality lies at the mouth of Scoresby Sound, the world’s largest fjord system, which is dominated by a large polynya at its mouth. Inland, large herds of caribou were to be found until about 1900 AD, and musk oxen can still be hunted (Gulløv 1991, Sandell and Sandell 1991). There are no published artifactual or faunal descriptions for this locality, but the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses stress a terrestrial diet reflecting access to caribou. Cape Harry and Suess Land. These localities lie in King Oscar Fjord and Antarctic Sound, where the artifactual and faunal data support the isotopic data in that all three data sets indicate a substantial use of terrestrial mammals in the diet. Dødemandsbugten. This locality makes up one of the largest prehistoric settlements in Northeast Greenland. Here as well, the artifactual and faunal information support the isotopic data. All three data sets indicate that a substantial part of the diet was from the terrestrial animals. Rypefjeldet and Stormbugt. Both these sites lie in the northern part of Dove Bay. The artifactual information from this locale is the same as that in the more southern parts of the Northeast Greenland region. Once again, both archaeology and isotopic data indicate that terrestrial mammals were important in the diet of these people. Conclusions In summary, the conclusions drawn by the isotopic dietary study are 1986:10). The conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses are in agreement with historic sources stressing seals as the primary diet. Low Arctic Southeast Greenland Ruinnæsset. This locality lies in North Skjoldunge Sound 50 km inland and can be compared to the similar fjord sites in South Skjoldunge Sound. Despite the clear artifactual evidence for fishing, the faunal analyses show that seals dominate, with ringed seal and harp seal as the predominant species, which supports the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses. Suukkersit. This locality lies in the large Sermilik Fjord, where seal hunting dominates (Robbe 1994). In general, the Ammassalik artifactual material indicates that fishing was as important as at Skjoldungen. There are no published faunal reports, which can supplement the artifactual data, but the conclusions drawn from the isotopic analyses support ethnographic reports on the dominance of seal hunting. Skærgårdshalvø. This locality is found at the mouth of Kangerlussuaq, to which the people in Figure 4. Percentage of technounits belonging to implements used for sea hunting, land hunting, and fishing, with reference to climatic regions. 2012 H.C. Gulløv 73 Arctic Southwest Greenland is not evident in either the isotopic dietary data, the artifactual record, or the faunal record. In contrast, seabird hunting in supported by these artifactual and faunal analyses for all the regions studied. A further surprising result of this study is that caribou hunting in Low Figure 5. Percentage of faunal remains and technounits from well-documented sites, with reference to climatic regions. 74 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 3 Southwest Greenland and fishing in the southern portion of Greenland, i.e., on the west and east coasts, is evident in the artifactual and faunal data, but is not apparent in the isotopic record. High Arctic Northeast Greenland is a particularly interesting region because the significant consumption of terrestrial mammals—which comprise more than 40% of the bones in the inner fjord middens— Figure 6. Percentage of technounits and faunal remains from Nuugaarsuk in Low Arctic Northwest and Illorpaat in Low Arctic Southwest. The figure compares the winter hunting data and indicates that murres from the bird cliffs in Upernavik district overwintered in large numbers in the ice-free coastal water in the Nuuk district. 2012 H.C. Gulløv 75 is supported by the artifactual and isotopic data. In spite of the visible Palaeo-Eskimo Dorset traits in the material culture of the Northeast Greenland Inuit (cf. Appelt and Gulløv 2009:314–316, Bandi and Meldgaard 1952:30) and evidence of successive migrations south into Low Arctic Southeast Greenland from the 17th century (Gulløv 1995), the substantial use of inland resources reflected in the diet makes this region remain most enigmatic from a cultural point of view. Literature Cited Amdrup, G. 1909. The former Eskimo settlements on the east coast of Greenland between Scoresby Sund and the Angmagsalik District. Meddelelser om Grønland 28(6). Appelt, M., and H.C. Gulløv. 2009. Tunit, Norsemen, and Inuit in thirteenth-century Northwest Greenland : Dorset between the devil and the deep sea. Pp. 300–320, In H. Maschner, O. Mason, and R. McGhee (Eds.). The Northern World AD 900–1400. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Bandi, H.-G., and J. Meldgaard. 1952. Archaeological investigations on Clavering Ø, Northeast Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland 126(4). Glob, P.V. 1935. Eskimo settlements in Kempe Fjord and King Oscar Fjord. Meddelelser om Grønland 102(2). Gotfredsen, A.B. 1998. The faunal material of the Saqqaq site Nipisat I, Sisimiut district, West Greenland. Danish Polar Center Publication 4:124–132. Gotfredsen, A.B., and Møbjerg, T. 2004. Nipisat – a Saqqaq Culture Site in Sisimiut, Central West Greenland. – Meddelelser om Grønland, Man and Society 31. Gotfredsen, A.B., P. Gravlund, and K. Rosenlund. 1994. I Skjoldungen spiste de især fisk og sæler. Forskning i Grønland / tusaat 1–2:46–55. 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