Ancient People of the Arctic
UBC Press, 1997 - 244 pages
Ancient People of the Arctic traces the lives of the Palaeo-Eskimos, the bold first explorers of the Arctic. Four thousand years ago, these people entered the far northern extremes of the North American continent, carving a living out of their bleak new homeland. From the hints they left behind, accessible only through the fragmented archaeological record, Robert McGhee ingeniously reconstructs a picture of this life at the margins. He discusses how the Palaeo-Eskimos spread across the entire Arctic, explains how they dealt with sharp climate changes that drastically altered their environment, offers glimpses into their spiritual practices and world view, and speculates about their eventual demise. For three thousand years, the Palaeo-Eskimos not only successfully adapted to their frozen land but also developed a rich cultural life. Their archaeological sites yield a trove of beautifully crafted tools made from bone, ivory, quartz, and flint.
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