Arctic cultural heritage and climate change – the preservation of a permafrozen site in a warm future. Abstract for presntation at the IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney, 2014

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning


Most pre-historical archaeological sites lack well-preserved organic artefacts because organic materials such as wood, bone, and DNA have been decomposed. However, at some archaeological kitchen middens in the Arctic, organic materials have been preserved due to a combination of high deposition rates, favorable hydrological (waterlogged) conditions and permafrost. At these sites extraordinary and important organic archaeological materials have been found and the potential of these sites to provide further insight into the earliest human expansions and living conditions, are considered extremely important. However, future climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced at Northern latitudes. Increasing temperatures cause longer periods of ground thawing and altered precipitation patterns may result in the drying of near surface layers. Both factors accelerate the deterioration of organic materials and increase the risk of losing unique information stored in these archaeological sites.

Here we present a four year monitoring and research project taking place at Qajaa in the Disko Bay area in West Greenland. Qajaa is a large kitchen midden, containing frozen remains from 4000 years of inhabitation, from when the first Paleo-Eskimos entered Greenland, until the site was abandoned in the 18th century. The site is part of the newly established - UNESCO World Heritage area and is considered the best preserved site for the Palaeo-Eskimo Saqqaq and Dorset cultures in all of Greenland.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2014