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MoG Man & Society vol. 5             Order this book on-line

B. Grønnow, M. Meldgaard, & J. B. Nielsen 1983
Aasivissuit the Great Summer Camp. Archaeological, ethnographical and zoo-archaeological studies of a caribou-hunting site in West Greenland.

An interdisciplinary analysis of an archaeological source material from the caribou-hunting site Aasivissuit in central inland West Greenland is presented. Subsistence changes over the years are the subject of ethnographical, archaeological and zoo-archaeological investigations.
The following main points are treated:
1. resource dynamics: the inland game the caribou population undergoes drastic changes in the course of time.
2. The ethnography of caribou-hunting: Ethnographical description of the caribou hunt and of life in the inland area based on hitherto largely unpublished ethnographical material.
3. Hunting structures: Cairn systems, shooting-hides, meat caches, etc., document the extent of the Aasivissuit site catchment area and the hunting activities carried out there i.a. large-scale battues.
4. Occupation phases: Excavations in the stratified ossiferous midden deposits reveal 6 occupation phases of varying duration and intensity at Aasivissuit. The phases represent different segments of the period from about 200 B.C. to the present, the neo-Eskimo layers from the 18th-19th centuries in particular holding much information.
5. The game: Osteological analyses of the comprehensive bone material show total dominance of caribou (selective late summer and autumn hunting of bucks and young animals) and that the excavation covers an area where coarse butchering took place.
Subsistence changes (changes in hunting forms and exploitation of game) and the discontinuity of inland occupation can be documented ethnographically, archaeologically and zoo-archaeologically. The changes are seen as a function of resource fluctuations and socio-historical changes.