Award Date

12-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Committee Member

Liam Frink

Second Committee Member

Alan Simmons

Third Committee Member

Karen Harry

Fourth Committee Member

William Bauer

Number of Pages

119

Abstract

Arctic scholars have yet to fully understand the reasons behind the migration of Thule culture from the western to the eastern Arctic. This rapid movement across such a vast area into environmentally diverse regions marks a critical period of cultural change that is usually summarized by two theoretical positions. Ecological theories postulated environmental changes placed selective pressures on traditional food sources that required Thule hunters to follow migrating prey. Theories that focused on material acquisition alternately proposed the Thule followed the trail of meteoric iron eastward into northwestern Greenland.

This research sought to examine the eastward Thule migration from another possible perspective. Instead of taking an environmental view, it focused on the search for valuable materials such as meteoric iron. Information on iron artifacts from archaeological site reports was examined to discuss the use of iron tools and possible metalworking methods. I also conducted experimental research into how meteorite iron ore may have been cold forged into endblades. This provided a deeper understanding of how these materials were processed in an environment with such limited resources.

Keywords

experimental archaeology; iron; metallurgy; meteorite; migration; Thule

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology | Engineering Science and Materials | Materials Science and Engineering

Language

English


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