Patrick Charles Jolicoeur

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Glasgow, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9235

Approve Date

April 8, 2016

Project Title

Jolicoeur, Patrick Charles, U. of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK - To aid research on 'Cultural Contacts and Exchange in the Eastern Arctic AD 700-1300,' supervised by Dr. Colleen Batey

Preliminary abstract: Around 1000 years ago, the Arctic was a region of tremendous change. Just as the physical landscape was changing at a rapid pace, so too was the cultural landscape. New raw materials and technologies were being exploited and developed just as new peoples were entering the region. This project seeks to understand the nature of inter- and intra-cultural interactions and how they are expressed, changed, and maintained through the exploitation of metal in the eastern North American Arctic between the 8th and 14th century AD. To approach this subject, this project will focus on the Late Dorset, an archaeologically constructed culture that lived in the Arctic during this period. Two mutually beneficial analyses will be applied to material from a variety of sites in Canada. Firstly, metal objects from Late Dorset sites will be non-destructively analyzed using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (pXRF) which will demonstrate the chemical composition of the metal tools, aiding in determining their broad source groupings. Second, the thickness of stone and metal blades as well as the blade slot width of harpoon heads and knife handles from contexts that pre-date and post-date wide-spread use of metal will be measured. This second approach will assess the value of these proxy indicators, in this case the width of the blade slot, in determining the scope of Late Dorset metal use. Taken together, the scale and intensity of Late Dorset metal exchange networks can be reconstructed. Combined with a theoretical framework focused on the materiality of the Late Dorset life-world, this project will discuss the ways humans and their things actively create, maintain, and change the social networks surrounding them.