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RAPID: Endangered Archaeology at Iita

General

Organisation
Project start
01.01.2016
Project end
31.12.2017
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
25.06.2016
Fieldwork end
06.08.2016

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
08.08.2016
Fieldwork end
09.08.2016

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
06.08.2016
Fieldwork end
10.08.2016

SAR information

Project details

03.06.2019
Science / project plan

.

Science / project summary
A team of researchers from Bowdoin, UC Davis, and the National Museum of Greenland will excavate at the site of Iita, Qaasuitsup Kommunia, Greenland. Due to increased ice-free periods in the stormy fall season the site is experiencing rapid erosion. Excavation will focus on unique buried strata dating to the Late Dorset period. The team will also continue documenting and monitoring the erosion there and at the nearby site of Middle Iita, first discovered in 2012 and also eroding. The buried Late Dorset strata at Iita, which date to AD 1050 - 1200 are a unique and valuable resource and are threatened by increasingly rapid erosion of the site. They offer the opportunity to learn about many aspects of Late Dorset Culture, from the importance of exploiting the massive dovekie colony to the demise of the Late Dorset culture as the ancestors of the contemporary Inughuit moved into the area. The clearly separated occupation levels offer an unprecedented opportunity to study and compare well-defined relatively short occupation periods. It will be possible to provide a clearer picture of the lives of families living at the site, and how these may have changed over time. The early Thule levels also present at the site offer the possibility of identifying the nature and extent of interaction (if any) between these two groups. J. Darwent has been documenting erosion at the site since 2006, including dramatic changes noted on his last visit in 2012. In this remote location ongoing evaluation, monitoring, and mitigation of changes due to erosion are difficult. This field work will allow us to both continue monitoring and to partially mitigate impending loss of these significant cultural resources. This work can help raise awareness of, and interest in, the world-wide threat to cultural resources due to rising sea levels, and the specific and more immediate threat to northern resources as a result of diminished sea ice, as well as melting permafrost. Information about the project will be disseminated through both academic and popular channels, before, during, and after the field season. Social media and a project blog will be used to engage both English- and Greenlandic-speakers. Through academic conferences and networks such as iHOpe, the project will also connect with colleagues facing similar issues in the circumpolar north.
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