The Thule or proto-Inuit were the ancestors of all modern Inuit. They developed in coastal Alaska by 1000 and expanded eastwards across Canada, reaching Greenland by the 13th century. In the process, they replaced people of the earlier Dorset culture that had inhabited the region; the appellation "Thule" originates from the location of Thule in northwest Greenland, facing Canada, where the archaeological remains of the people were first found at Comer's Midden. The links between the Thule and the Inuit are biological and linguistic. Evidence supports the idea that the Thule were in contact with the Vikings, who had reached the shores of Canada in the 11th century. In Viking sources, these peoples are called the Skrælingjar; some Thule migrated southward, in the "Second Expansion" or "Second Phase". By the 13th or 14th century, the Thule had occupied an area inhabited by the Central Inuit, by the 15th century, the Thule replaced the Dorset. Intensified contacts with Europeans began in the 18th century.
Compounded by the disruptive effects of the "Little Ice Age", the Thule communities broke apart, the people were henceforward known as the Eskimo, Inuit. The Thule Tradition lasted from about 200 B. C. to 1600 A. D. around the Bering Strait, the Thule people being the prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit who now live in Northern Labrador. Thule culture was mapped out by Therkel Mathiassen, following his participation as an archaeologist and cartographer of the Fifth Danish Expedition to Arctic America in 1921–1924, he excavated sites on Baffin Island and the northwestern Hudson Bay region, which he considered to be the remains of a developed Eskimo whaling culture that had originated in Alaska and moved to Arctic Canada 1000 years ago. There are three stages of development leading up to Thule culture; these groups of peoples have been referred to as "Neo-Eskimo" cultures, which are differentiated from the earlier Norton Tradition. There are several stages of the Thule tradition: Old Bering Sea Stage, Punuk Stage, Birnirk Stage.
These stages represent variations of the Thule Tradition. The Thule Tradition replaced the Dorset Tradition in the Eastern Arctic and introduced both kayaks and umiaks, or skin covered boats, into the archaeological record as well as developed new uses for iron and copper and demonstrated advanced harpoon technology and use of bowhead whales, the largest animal in the Arctic. and spread across the coasts of Labrador and Greenland. It is the most recent "neo-Eskimo" culture; the Old Bering Seas stage was first characterized by Diamond Jenness, on the basis of a collection of patinated decorated ivory harpoon heads and other objects dug up by natives on the St. Lawrence and Diomede Islands. Jenness identified the Bering Sea culture as a developed Inuit culture of northeastern Asiatic origin and pre-Thule in age. A strong maritime adaptation is characteristic of the Thule, the OBS stage, can be seen in the archaeological evidence. Both Kayaks and umiaks appear in the archaeological record for the first time.
The toolkits of the people of the time are dominated by polished-slate rather than flaked-stone artifacts, including lanceolate knives, projectile heads, the ulu transverse-bladed knife. The people made a crude form of pottery and there was much use of bone and antlers to use as heads on harpoons, as well as to make darts, snow goggles, blubber scrapers, needles and mattocks walrus shoulder-blade snow shovels. There are many important innovations. Harpoon mounted ice picks were used for seal hunting, as well as ivory plugs and mouthpieces for inflating harpoon line floats, which enabled them to recover larger sea mammals when dispatched; these people relied on seal and walrus for subsistence. It is easy to pick out OBS technology because of the artistic curvilinear dots and shorter lines that were used to decorate their tools; the chronological relationship between the Okvik and Old Bering Seas cultures has been the subject of debate and remains undecided, based on art styles. Some consider it to be a distinct culture pre-dating Old Bering Sea, but the close similarity and overlapping radiocarbon dates suggest Okvik and Old Bering Sea are best considered as contemporaneous, with regional variants.
The Punuk stage is a development of Old Bering Sea stage, with distribution along the major Strait islands and along to shores of the Chukchi Peninsula. The Punuk culture was defined by Henry Collins in 1928 from a 16 ft deep midden on one of the Punuk Islands. Excavation on St Lawrence Island confirmed Jenness's ideas on the Bering Sea culture, demonstrated a continual cultural sequence on the island from Old Bering Sea, to Punuk, to modern Eskimo culture. Punuk is differentiated with Old Bering Sea through its artifact styles and house forms, as well as harpoon styles and whale hunting. Punuk settlements were more common than earlier villages, they were square or rectangular dwellings with wooden floors. The house was held up by whale jaw-bones, covered in skins and snow; these houses were nicely insulated, would have been only visible to the occupants. Whaling has a greater emphasis in the Punuk stage. Hunters would kill whales in narrow ice leads as well as in the open sea in the fall. Open sea whaling required skilled leadership, teams of expert boatmen and hunters, the cooperation of several boats.
The whaleboat captain, t
Skræling is the name the Norse Greenlanders used for the peoples they encountered in North America and Greenland. In surviving sources, it is first applied to the Thule people, the proto-Inuit group with whom the Norse coexisted in Greenland after about the 13th century. In the sagas, it is used for the peoples of the region known as Vinland whom the Norse encountered during their expeditions there in the early 11th century; the term is thought to have first been used by Ari Thorgilsson in his work Íslendingabók called The Book of the Icelanders, written well after the period in which Norse explorers made their first contacts with indigenous Americans. By the time these sources were recorded, skræling was the common term Norse Greenlanders used for the Thule people, the ancestors to the modern Inuit; the Thule first arrived in Greenland from the North American mainland in the 13th century and were thereafter in contact with the Greenlanders. The Greenlanders' Saga and the Saga of Erik the Red, which were written in the 13th century, use this same term for the people of the area known as Vinland whom the Norse met in the early 11th century.
The word subsequently became well known, has been used in the English language since the 18th century. The word skræling is from Greenlandic Norse, the Old Norse dialect spoken by the medieval Norse Greenlanders. In modern Icelandic, skrælingi means "barbarian", whereas the Danish descendant, skrælling, means "weakling"; the origin of the word is not certain. William Thalbitzer speculates that skræling might have been derived from the Old Norse verb skrækja, meaning "bawl, shout, or yell". An etymology by Michael Fortescue et al. proposes that the Icelandic word skrælingi may be related to the word skrá, meaning "dried skin", in reference to the animal pelts worn by the Inuit. Norse exploration of the New World began with the initial sighting of North America by an Icelander named Bjarni Herjólfsson, who spotted land after drifting off course on a journey to Greenland in 985 or 986, they speculated among themselves as to what land this would be, for Bjarni said he suspected this was not Greenland.
His voyage piqued the interest of explorers including Leif Eriksson, who would explore and name the areas of Helluland and Vinland. Eriksson laid the groundwork for colonizing efforts in the generations to come by establishing a foothold on Vinland, when he constructed some "large houses." Upon his return to Greenland, There was great discussion of Leif's Vinland voyage, his brother Thorvald felt they had not explored enough of the land. Leif told Thorvald,'You go to Vinland and take my ship if you wish, but before you do so I want the ship to make a trip to the skerry to fetch the wood that Thorir had there' Thorvald has the first contact with the native population which would come to be known as the skrælings. After capturing and killing eight of the natives, they were attacked at their beached ships, which they defended:'I have been wounded under my arm,' he said.'An arrow flew between the edge of the ship and the shield into my armpit. Here is the arrow, this wound will cause my death.'
Thorfinn Karlsefni was the first Norse explorer to attempt to colonize the newly discovered land of Vinland on the same site as his predecessors Thorvald and Leif Eriksson. According to the Saga of Erik the Red, he set sail with 140 men. Upon reaching Vinland, their intended destination, they found the now famous grapes and self-sown wheat the land was named for, they spent a hard winter at this site, where they survived by fishing, hunting game inland, gathering eggs on the island. The following summer they sailed to the island of Hop where they had the first peaceful interactions with the native people, whom they traded with. Karlsefni forbade his men to trade their swords and spears, so they exchanged their red cloth for pelts. Afterwards they were able to describe the aboriginal inhabitants in detail, saying: They were short in height with threatening features and tangled hair on their heads, their eyes were large and their cheeks broad. Shortly thereafter, the Norsemen were attacked by natives, frightened by a bull that broke loose from their encampment.
They were forced to retreat to an defensible location and engage their attackers. As with anywhere in this foreign land and his men realized that despite everything the land had to offer there, they would be under constant threat of attack from its prior inhabitants. After this adventure, they returned to Greenland, their three-year excursion would be the longest-lasting known European colony in the New World until Columbus' voyages nearly 500 years initiated full-scale colonization. There are indigenous accounts from the Inuit peoples which tell of the Norse travels to their land, describe their interactions with them: oon the kayaker sent out his spear in good earnest, killed him on the spot; when winter came, it was a general belief that the Kavdlunait would come and avenge the death of their countrymen Kavdlunait was the Inuit word for foreigner or European, compare modern Greenlandic qallunaaq spelled ĸavdlunâĸ. As with Norse accounts, the interactions between the colonizing and the native peoples was still steeped in violence and revenge, thus hindering peaceful cohabitation and successful colonization by the Norse explorers.
Skraeling Island Hans Christian Gulløv, ed. Grønlands Forhistorie, Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2005. ISBN 8702017245 Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Pálsson, The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America, Pengu
Prime Minister of Greenland
The Prime Minister of Greenland referred to as the Premier, is the head of the Government of Greenland, the autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The incumbent Prime Minister is Kim Kielsen of the Siumut party; the Prime Minister is leader of the majority party in the Parliament of Greenland. Jonathan Motzfeldt became Prime Minister after home rule was granted to Greenland in 1979. List of Governors of Greenland
Geography of Greenland
Greenland is located between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada and northwest of Iceland. The territory comprises the island of Greenland–the largest island in the world–and more than a hundred other smaller islands; as an island, Greenland has 44,087 km of coastline. A sparse population is confined to small settlements along certain sectors of the coast. Greenland possesses the world's second largest ice sheet. Greenland sits atop a subplate of the North American plate; the Greenland craton is made up of some of the oldest rocks on the face of the earth. The Isua greenstone belt in southwestern Greenland contains the oldest known rocks on Earth, dated at 3.7–3.8 billion years old. The vegetation is sparse, with the only patch of forested land being found in Nanortalik Municipality in the extreme south near Cape Farewell; the climate is arctic to subarctic, with cold winters. The terrain is a flat but sloping icecap that covers all land except for a narrow, barren, rocky coast.
The lowest elevation is sea level and the highest elevation is the summit of Gunnbjørn Fjeld, the highest point in the Arctic at 3,694 meters. The northernmost point of the island of Greenland is Cape Morris Jesup, discovered by Admiral Robert Peary in 1900. Natural resources include zinc, iron ore, molybdenum, platinum, uranium and fish. Total: 2,166,086 km² land: 2,166,086 km² Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nautical miles exclusive fishing zone: 200 nautical miles arable land: 6%. Permanent crops: 0% other: 100% Total population 56,000 inhabitants of whom ca. 15,000 live in the capital Nuuk. Continuous ice sheet covers 84% of the country. Protection of the Arctic environment, climate change, pollution of the food chain, excessive hunting of endangered species; the Greenland ice sheet is 3 kilometers thick and broad enough to blanket an area the size of Mexico. The ice is so massive that its weight presses the bedrock of Greenland below sea level and is so all-concealing that not until did scientists discover Greenland's Grand Canyon or the possibility that Greenland might be three islands.
If the ice melted, the interior bedrock below sea level would be covered by water. It is not clear whether this water would be at a lake above sea level. If it would be at sea level it could connect to the sea at Ilulissat Icefjord, in Baffin Bay and near Nordostrundingen, creating three large islands, but it is most that it would be a lake with one drain. It is thought that before the Ice Age Greenland had mountainous edges, a lowland center which drained to the sea by one big river flowing out westwards past where Disko Island is now. There is concern about sea level rise caused by ice loss on Greenland. Between 1997 and 2003 ice loss was 68–92 km3/a, compared to about 60 km3/a for 1993/4-1998/9. Half of the increase was from higher summer melting, with the rest caused by velocities of some glaciers exceeding those needed to balance upstream snow accumulation. A complete loss of ice on Greenland would cause a sea level rise of as much as 6.40 meters. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February 2006 that the glaciers are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago.
By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected – an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles or 217 cubic kilometres per year, according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL. The increased ice loss may be offset by increased snow accumulation due to increased precipitation. Between 1991 and 2006, monitoring of the weather at one location found that the average winter temperature had risen 10 °F. Recently, Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers have started moving faster, satellite data show; these are the Jakobshavn Isbræ at Ilulissat on the western edge of Greenland, the Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers on the eastern edge of Greenland. The two latter accelerated during the years 2004–2005, but returned to pre-2004 velocities in 2006; the accelerating ice flow has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in seismic activity. In March 2006, researchers at Harvard University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University reported that the glaciers now generate swarms of earthquakes up to magnitude 5.0.
The retreat of Greenland's ice is revealing islands. In September 2005 Dennis Schmitt discovered an island 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle in eastern Greenland which he named Uunartoq Qeqertaq, Inuit for "warming island". In the Arctic, temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else in the world. Greenland is losing 200 billion tonnes of ice per year. Research suggests that this could increase the sea levels to rise by 30 centimeters by the end of the century; these projections have the possibility of changing as satellite data only traces back to 40 years ago. This means that researchers must view old photographs of glaciers and compare them to ones taken today to determine the future of Greenland's ice; the ice sheet covering Greenland varies in elevation across the landmass, rising between the coastline at sea level and the East-Central interior, where elevations r
History of Greenland
The history of Greenland is a history of life under extreme Arctic conditions: an ice cap covers about 80 percent of the island, restricting human activity to the coasts. The first humans are thought to have arrived in Greenland around 2500 BC, their descendants died out and were succeeded by several other groups migrating from continental North America. There has been no evidence discovered that Greenland was known to Europeans until the 10th century, when Icelandic Vikings settled on its southwestern coast, which seems to have been uninhabited when they arrived; the ancestors of the Inuit Greenlanders who live there today appear to have migrated there around 1200 AD, from northwestern Greenland. While the Inuit survived in the icy world of the Little Ice Age, the early Norse settlements along the southwestern coast disappeared, leaving the Inuit as the only inhabitants of the island for several centuries. During this time, Denmark-Norway believing the Norse settlements had survived, continued to claim sovereignty over the island despite the lack of any contact between the Norse Greenlanders and their Scandinavian brethren.
In 1721, aspiring to become a colonial power, Denmark-Norway sent a missionary expedition to Greenland with the stated aim of reinstating Christianity among descendants of the Norse Greenlanders who may have reverted to paganism. When the missionaries found no descendants of the Norse Greenlanders, they baptized the Inuit Greenlanders they found living there instead. Denmark-Norway developed trading colonies along the coast and imposed a trade monopoly and other colonial privileges on the area. During World War II, when Germany invaded Denmark, Greenlanders became and economically less connected to Denmark and more connected to the United States and Canada. After the war, Denmark resumed control of Greenland and in 1953, converted its status from colony to overseas amt. Although Greenland is still a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it has enjoyed home rule since 1979. In 1985, the island decided to leave the European Union, which it had joined as a part of Denmark in 1973; the prehistory of Greenland is a story of repeated waves of Paleo-Eskimo immigration from the islands north of the North American mainland.
Because of Greenland's remoteness and climate, survival there was difficult. Over the course of centuries, one culture succeeded another as groups died out and were replaced by new immigrants. Archaeology can give only approximate dates for the cultures that flourished before the Norse exploration of Greenland in the 10th century; the earliest known cultures in Greenland are the Saqqaq culture and the Independence I culture in northern Greenland. The practitioners of these two cultures are thought to have descended from separate groups that came to Greenland from northern Canada. Around 800 BC, the so-called Independence II culture arose in the region where the Independence I culture had existed, it was thought that Independence II was succeeded by the early Dorset culture, but some Independence II artifacts date from as as the 1st century BC. Recent studies suggest that, in Greenland at least, the Dorset culture may be better understood as a continuation of Independence II culture. Artefacts associated with early Dorset culture in Greenland have been found as far north as Inglefield Land on the west coast and the Dove Bugt area on the east coast.
After the Early Dorset culture disappeared by around 1 AD, Greenland was uninhabited until Late Dorset people settled on the Greenlandic side of the Nares strait around 700. The late Dorset culture in the north of Greenland lasted until about 1300. Meanwhile the Norse arrived and settled in the southern part of the island in 980. Europeans became aware of Greenland's existence in the early 10th century, when Gunnbjörn Ulfsson, sailing from Norway to Iceland, was blown off course by a storm and sighted some islands off Greenland. During the 980s, explorers led by Erik the Red set out from Iceland and reached the southwest coast of Greenland, found the region uninhabited, subsequently settled there. Erik named the island Greenland - in effect as a marketing device. Both the Book of Icelanders and the Saga of Eric the Red state "He named the land Greenland, saying that people would be eager to go there if it had a good name."According to the sagas, the Icelanders had exiled Erik the Red for three years for committing murder c.
982. He sailed to Greenland, where he claimed certain regions as his own, he returned to Iceland to persuade people to join him in establishing a settlement on Greenland. The Icelandic sagas say that 25 ships left Iceland with Erik the Red in 985, that only 14 of them arrived safely in Greenland; this date has been confirmed by radiocarbon dating of remains at the first settlement at Brattahlid, which yielded a date of about 1000. According to the sagas, it was in the year 1000 that Erik's son, Leif Eirikson, left the settlement to explore the regions around Vinland, which historians assume to have been located in what is now Newfoundland; the Norse established settlements along Greenland's fjords. Excavations have shown that the fjords
Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park is the world's largest national park and the 9th largest protected land area. Established in 1974 and expanded to its present size in 1988, it protects 972,000 km2 of the interior and northeastern coast of Greenland and is bigger than all but twenty-nine countries in the world, it was the first national park to be created in the Kingdom of Denmark and remains Greenland's only national park. The park shares borders laid out as straight lines, with the Sermersooq municipality in the south and with the Avannaata municipality in the west along the 45° West meridian on the ice cap in the west; the large interior of the park is part of the Greenland Ice Sheet, but there are large ice-free areas along the coast and on Peary Land in the north. Besides Peary land, the park includes the King Frederick VIII Land and King Christian X Land geographical areas; the area is subject to larger loss of ice. Created on 22 May 1974 from the northern uninhabited part of the former Ittoqqortoormiit Municipality in Tunu, in 1988 the park was expanded by another 272,000 km2 to its present size, adding the northeastern part of the former county of Avannaa.
In January 1977 it was designated an international biosphere reserve. The park is overseen by the Greenland Department of Nature; the historical research camps on the ice sheet−Eismitte and North Ice−fall within the boundaries of the present-day park. The park has no permanent human population. In 1986, the permanent population of the park was 40, living at Mestersvig, although 400 sites saw occasional summertime use; these 40 were soon left. Since censuses have recorded zero permanent human population. Only 31 people and about 110 dogs were present over winter in North East Greenland, distributed among the following stations: Daneborg headquarters of the Sirius Patrol, the park policing agency Danmarkshavn civilian weather station Station Nord military base Mestersvig military outpost with 1,800 m gravel runway Zackenberg summer-only research station Summit Camp research station on the Greenland Ice SheetDuring summer scientists add to these numbers; the research station ZERO 74°28′11″N 20°34′15″W can cater for over 20 scientists and station personnel.
An estimated 5,000 to 15,000 musk oxen, as well as numerous polar bears and walrus, can be found near the coastal regions of the park. This was claimed to be 40% of the world population of musk ox in 2008. Other mammals include Arctic fox, collared lemming and Arctic hare. Other marine mammals include ringed seal, bearded seal, harp seal and hooded seal as well as narwhal and Beluga whale. Species of birds which breed in the park include great northern diver, barnacle goose, pink-footed goose, common eider, king eider, snowy owl, sanderling and raven. List of national parks Nanok Main park webpage Image gallery UN website on park ZERO - Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations "Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Exploration History of Northeast Greenland