New developments in tracking archeological evidence from lake sediment core analysis: A case study of the Paleo-Inuit and Thule-Inuit on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Arctic Canada

Jules Blais, Professeur à l'université d'Ottawa

Séminaire de l’UMR METIS-IPSL.


Date de début 07/05/2024 13:00
Date de fin 07/05/2024
Lieu Laboratoire METIS, Salle Darcy, tour 46-56, 3e étage


Archeological studies of pre-historic Arctic cultures are often limited to artifacts and architecture in remote northern environments, leaving large gaps in archeological knowledge. Sediment cores from nearby freshwater lakes and ponds may provide continuous and temporally coherent records of past human occupation, revealing hidden details about past human activities.

Canada’s Arctic was home to several cultures, including the Pre-Dorset and Dorset (Paleo-Inuit) peoples (from 2500 BCE until about 1250 CE), and the Thule-Inuit (ca 1200-1600 CE). Archeological evidence of this 3,000 year history of human occupation in the Arctic is relatively sparse, but new approaches in forensic science, including geochemical techniques in dated sediment cores (lipid analysis, stable isotopic analysis, eDNA, and microfossil community assemblages) are revealing new information about these cultures who occupied the Arctic for thousands of years.

Here I will summarize new results from two Paleo-Inuit and Thule-Inuit sites that track detailed information of the timing of human occupations, their hunting and gathering practices, and even some of the circumstances of their population collapse.


Jules Blais est Professeur à l’université d’Ottawa.

Informations supplémentaires

Laboratoire METIS, Sorbonne Université, Campus Pierre et Marie Curie
4, place Jussieu 75005 Paris
Salle Darcy, tour 46-56, 3e étage.

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