An Early Inuit Workshop at a Qassi, a Men's House, Nuulliit, North West Greenland

Asta Mønsted, Martin Appelt, Anne-Birgitte Gotfredsen, Claire Houmard, Antonine Zazzo, Sophie Cersoy, Olivier Tombret, Bjarne Grønnow

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Recent excavations in northern Greenland at the early Inuit site, Nuulliit, belonging to the Ruin Island Phase of the Thule culture, included a settlement area in front of House 30, a turf house ruin originally investigated by Holtved in 1947. A discussion of the interpretation of the feature as a qassi (a men’s house) is presented, and analyses of the spatial distributions of waste, tools, and preforms show that the area in front of the qassi served mainly as a workshop, where repair, recycling, and discard of hunting gear and tools took place. Walrus ivory tools, soapstone vessels, and blades of meteoric iron were produced. Training apprentices was an integral part of the activities, and small seals and birds were consumed in the workshop area. The workshop mainly dates to the 14th century AD. Norse iron was found, and a reevaluation of radiocarbon dates leads to a discussion of the early Inuit expansion into Greenland.
Translated title of the contributionEt tidligt inuit værkstedsområde ved et qassi, et mandshus, Nuulliit, Nordvestgrønland
Original languageEnglish
JournalArctic Anthropology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-38
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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