Ancient harp seal hunters of Disko Bay (Vol. 330):Subsistence and settlement at the Saqqaq culture site Qeqertasussuk 
(2400-1400 BC), West Greenland

Ancient harp seal hunters of Disko Bay (Vol. 330):Subsistence and settlement at the Saqqaq culture site Qeqertasussuk (2400-1400 BC), West Greenland

作者:Morten Meldgaard,
ISBN:9788763512633, 9788763530675
语言:English
出版社:Museum Tusculanum Press
格式:Pdf
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Keywords

grønland; archaeology; arkæologi; greenland; zooarcheology; antropologi og etnologi; fangst; zooarkæologi; english; anthropology and ethnology; settlements; excavation; arktiske studier; arctic studies; seals; sæler; bopladser; udgravning; engelsk; catch

Abstract

The Saqqaq Culture site Qeqertasussuk (2400-1400 BC) is situated in the south eastern
corner of Disko Bay, West Greenland. The site was excavated between 1983 and 1987 by
Qasigiannguit Museum. The stratified cultural deposits are exceptionally well preserved
by permafrost and yielded hundreds of thousands of animal bones, feathers, plant
remains, insect remains, wooden implements, and a wealth of other organic refuse as
well as stone tools, house ruins, stone set fireplaces and other traces of habitation. In order to understand the life conditions of the inhabitants at Qeqertasussuk, a
comparative survey of the historic distribution, density and availability of the living
resources in the area is undertaken. This resource model is then evaluated against the
paleo-environmental data. Also, comparative ethnohistorical and ethnographic data on
the exploitation of the living resources in the area is presented.

Subsistence and subsistence change at Qeqertasussuk is studied through a comprehensive
analysis of the faunal material that consists of more than 200,000 animal bones.
Quantitative methods are supplemented by detailed studies of seasonality and age composition
of the hunting bag. Forty three species of animals are represented. Harp seal
and ringed seal represent the most important game, but sea birds such as fulmar,
Brünnich’s guillemot, and little auk also play a significant role in the subsistence economy.
Fish, especially Atlantic Cod, have been caught and remains of large whales indicate
that these animals were utilized, but it can not be decided whether they were actively
hunted. Most of the game was taken close by the site, however finds of caribou indicate
that inland caribou hunting was undertaken and that Qeqertasussuk was part of a larger
subsistence-settlement-system. Several species of plants were also utilized.

Temporal changes in the composition of the faunal material indicate that significant
changes occur in the subsistence at Qeqertasusuk. Four phases are identified: (1) Basecamp
period I (2400-2100 BC). A pioneer phase where the site is used as a year-round
base camp with more than 90% of the biomass being harvested within an area of
approximately 80 km2, (2) Base-camp period II (2100-1900 BC), which seems to be the
period of most intensive use and where new methods (probably netting) of harp seal
hunting are introduced, (3) Hunting camp period (1900-1700 BC), where the site
becomes more specialized and more seasonal with a focus on spring-summer hunting
for harp seals, (4) high activity period (1700-1400 BC) indications of continued heavy
sea mammal hunting.

The site was abandoned around 1400 BC. The causes of the abandonment of Qeqertasussuk
is discussed and the impact of the general cooling around 1500 BC on key
resources such as harp seal and capelin is highlighted.

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作者:Morten Meldgaard,
ISBN:9788763512633, 9788763530675
语言:English
出版社:Museum Tusculanum Press
格式:Pdf
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