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Co-production of scientific knowledge and the building of local archeological capacity in Greenland

General

Project start
01.01.2019
Project end
31.12.2022
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Society, economy and culture
Project topic
Culture & history

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2020
Fieldwork end
28.08.2020

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2020
Fieldwork end
28.08.2020

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2020
Fieldwork end
28.08.2020

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2021
Fieldwork end
28.08.2021

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2021
Fieldwork end
28.08.2021

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2021
Fieldwork end
28.08.2021

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2022
Fieldwork end
28.08.2022

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2022
Fieldwork end
28.08.2022

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.06.2022
Fieldwork end
28.08.2022

SAR information

Project details

02.12.2019
Science / project summary

This project builds upon prior NSF-supported work to understand the interactions of humans, landscape, seascape, and climate in the region since humans occupied Greenland. The work is given additional urgency as there is rapid loss of once well-preserved organic remains due to rising soil temperatures and accelerated coastal erosion. The work will directly build local Greenlandic capacity so that the key Greenlandic partner, Greenland National Museum and Archives (NKA) can improve long-term site management preserving the ability to study these and other sites in the future. The threat extends to all periods and extends to cemeteries and structural ruins. New laboratory studies making use of stable isotopes, trace elements, and ancient DNA demonstrate the value of archaeological sites as a "distributed observing network of the past" for collaborative interdisciplinary socio-environmental research. This work contributes to a long-standing relationship developed in 2004 between the US, Greenland, and Denmark to advance common projects and encourage cooperation across a diverse range of policy areas including science, culture, and the environment. Greenland has shown particular interest in projects that develop knowledge about its cultural past. The project will work closely with the Greenlandic hosts and other international partners to rescue urgently endangered archaeological sites, gather a wide range of paleoecological data, and collaborate with modern communities eager to save their heritage while co-producing knowledge and participating directly in global change science. The project will excavate three Norse cemeteries to recover human remains that now produce dietary evidence (i.e., nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes, dental calculus analysis), evidence of migration from Iceland (e.g., strontium isotopes) and family relationships (via ancient DNA). The project will also excavate animal bones, insects, wood remains, and artifacts from stratified Norse middens at three sites that still retain organic preservation. Expanded site survey using drones and mapping GPS, coring of lake and bog deposits for pollen, insects, and macrofloral remains, professional medial documentation to produce education and outreach products, and an expanded geo-archaeology program to assess Norse field and farm management strategies are all part of the project. A key element will be the engagement of early career students and professionals and the close collaboration with schools and local residents focused upon the early Moravian mission and settlement site of Alluitsoq/Lichtenau, which was a major center for cross-cultural contact and the development of a distinctive Greenlandic culture in the 18th- early 20th centuries.

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