Echoes of the Past: Examining Environment Change Induced by Inuit Activity in Labrador - Ivan Carlson

Part of:
2:30 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
In the last few decades, environmental archaeologists have begun to challenge traditional views of hunter-gatherers as living in harmony with the natural world. Humans exist as dynamic agents within environmental systems, whose lifeways have influenced landscape change throughout time in ways that are observable in the paleoecological record. This is particularly true in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions where ecosystems have been shown to recover slowly, if at all, from anthropogenic disturbance. My thesis proposes to illustrate the effectiveness of archaeoentomological methods in observing the impacts Inuit had in these environments through examining settlements as sites of significant ecological disturbance. Through the examination of beetle remains from peat profiles in the vicinity of archaeological sites, I will test whether an ecological “footprint” for Inuit activities can be recognized in the archaeoentomological record, while also documenting ecological changes associated with specific resources and activities. Additionally, I plan to integrate insect subfossil data with other high-resolution archaeo-environmental analyses and radiocarbon dating, with the overall goal of contributing towards the establishment of a chronology for the Inuit occupation of specific sites in the area of Okak in Northern Labrador.
Memorial University of Newfoundland