Ancient People of the Arctic

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UBC Press, 2001 - History - 244 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

A People of the Imagination
3
Eskimo History
12
An Asiatic People in America
24
The People of the Muskox Way
44
The Great Exploration
73
When the Climate Changes
106
How an Arctic Culture Was Transformed
120
The Dorset People
135
Lost Visions
149
Encounters and Isolation
174
The End of the Dorset World
196
Note on Sources
235
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About the author (2001)

Robert McGhee is an archaeologist who has conductedthirty years of research on the ancient history of Arctic peoples. Heis the author of numerous publications, among them AncientCanada (1989) and Canada Rediscovered (1991). He iscurrently a curator of archaeology at the Canadian Museum ofCivilization.

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