Research Report 2007

Archaeology team recognized in national magazine

Large body of water with cliffs in background

Archaeological excavations at the pre-contact Inuit winter site of Nachvak Village, northern Labrador.

The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine has featured a Memorial University-led excavation project in the article on Canada's top archeological sites.

Digging History: Canada's Top 6 Archaeological Sites features the work of a team led by Dr. Peter Whitridge, assistant professor of archaeology. Since 2003, Dr. Whitridge has been excavating late pre-contact and early contact era Inuit sites along Nachvak Fiord, in the heart of the new Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve in northern Labrador.

"This is the newest national park, and was created as part of the Labrador Inuit land claims settlement in one of Eastern Canada's most spectacular natural areas," said Dr. Whitridge.

Numerous students from Memorial and communities in Labrador have been involved in the research. There are currently six Memorial graduate students at various stages of their MA research working on finds from Nachvak Fiord.

"The overall project is aimed at exploring the period of initial Inuit colonization of northern Labrador in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, including the timing of their arrival; the economy, social organization and cultural landscapes of the colonists; and the nature of the response of arctic peoples to the unusual conditions of northern Labrador, such as its rugged topography, an environment transitional between Low Arctic and Subarctic, and its unique cultural mix of Paleoeskimo, Innu and European occupants," explained Dr. Whitridge.

The Beaver is an 85-year-old publication founded in 1920 by the Hudson's Bay Company. The magazine is published six times yearly by Canada's National History Society.