Brooman Point Village

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Based on archeological finds, Brooman Point Village is an abandoned village in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is located in the central High Arctic near Brooman Point ( 75°23′00″N097°17′30″W / 75.38333°N 97.29167°W / 75.38333; -97.29167 (Brooman Point) [1] ) of the Gregory Peninsula, part of the eastern coast of Bathurst Island. Brooman was both a Late Dorset culture Paleo-Eskimo village as well as an Early Thule culture village. [2] Both the artifacts and the architecture, specifically longhouses, are considered important historical remains of the two cultures. [3] [4] The site shows traces of Palaeo-Eskimo occupations between about 2000 BC and 1 AD, but the major prehistoric settlement occurred from about 900 to 1200 AD.



Archaeological excavations have revealed the presence of a late Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo village. The Dorset people inhabited Brooman around 2000 BC to 1 AD. The remains of the village were almost obliterated by early Thule-culture Inuit, who built a village on top of the Dorset site. The Thule people lived in Brooman from about 900 to 1200 AD. Aspects of Early Thule culture as seen in the architecture of a site on Victoria Island, Amundsen Gulf. [2] [5] They incorporated many Dorset artifacts into the wall-fill of their houses, thus preserving them in permafrost. Thule walls were made of whale bones that rested on large porticos. Roofs were shed-like: flat or with a slight slope. Some buildings included a small kitchen. When they abandoned the locality, they left behind stone boxes as well as many carvings depicting humans and animals. [6] These artifacts include one of the largest known collections of Dorset carvings in wood, ivory and antler.

Dorset Culture

Dorset culture, 500 BC-1500 AD, is known archaeologically from most coastal regions of arctic Canada. The Dorset people were descended from Palaeo-Eskimos of the Pre-Dorset Culture. Compared to their ancestors, the Dorset people had a more successful economy and lived in more permanent houses built of snow and turf and heated with soapstone oil lamps. They may also have used dogsleds and kayaks. They lived primarily by hunting sea mammals and were capable of taking animals as large as walrus and narwhal. About 500 BC they moved down the Labrador coast and occupied the island of Newfoundland for about 1000 years. About 1000 AD they were displaced from most arctic regions by an invasion of Thule Inuit from Alaska, but they continued to live in northern Québec and Labrador until approximately 1500 AD.

Thule Culture

Thule culture, 1000-1600 AD, represents the expansion of Alaskan Inuit across arctic Canada about 1000 AD and the gradual displacement of the Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos who occupied the area previously. Thule people brought with them a sophisticated sea-hunting technology that had been developed in the Bering Sea area. They hunted animals as large as bowhead whales and were able to store sufficient food to allow winter occupation of permanent villages composed of houses built from stone, whalebones and turf. [7] Most Thule artifacts were made from bone, antler, ivory and wood; they used few stone tools, preferring cutting edges of metal obtained either from natural deposits or from Greenlandic Norse. Thule culture declined after about 1600 AD from a combination of deteriorating climatic conditions and the introduction of diseases from contact with Europeans, but the people continued to occupy arctic Canada and are directly ancestral to the historic Inuit. [8]

Palaeo-Eskimo people

The term "Palaeo-Eskimo"(palaeo=old) is used to refer to the peoples of the Arctic who lived before the Thule. The Thule were the direct ancestors of the Inuit who now inhabit the Canadian north. Palaeo-Eskimo peoples may be remotely related to the Inuit, but they are not the direct ancestors of any modern Arctic people.

Related Research Articles

The Thule or proto-Inuit were the ancestors of all modern Inuit. They developed in coastal Alaska by the year 1000 and expanded eastward across northern Canada, reaching Greenland by the 13th century. In the process, they replaced people of the earlier Dorset culture that had previously inhabited the region. The appellation "Thule" originates from the location of Thule in northwest Greenland, facing Canada, where the archaeological remains of the people were first found at Comer's Midden. The links between the Thule and the Inuit are biological, cultural, and linguistic.

The Paleo-Eskimo were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic region from Chukotka in present-day Russia across North America to Greenland prior to the arrival of the modern Inuit (Eskimo) and related cultures. The first known Paleo-Eskimo cultures developed by 2500 BCE, but were gradually displaced in most of the region, with the last one, the Dorset culture, disappearing around 1500 CE.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dorset culture</span> Paleo-Eskimo culture (500 BCE–1500 CE) that preceded the Inuit in the Arctic of North America

The Dorset was a Paleo-Eskimo culture, lasting from 500 BCE to between 1000 CE and 1500 CE, that followed the Pre-Dorset and preceded the Thule people (proto-Inuit) in the North American Arctic. The culture and people are named after Cape Dorset in Nunavut, Canada, where the first evidence of its existence was found. The culture has been defined as having four phases due to the distinct differences in the technologies relating to hunting and tool making. Artifacts include distinctive triangular end-blades, oil lamps made of soapstone, and burins.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bathurst Island (Nunavut)</span> Uninhabited member of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saqqaq culture</span> Ancient people of Southern Greenland

The Saqqaq culture was a Paleo-Eskimo culture in southern Greenland. Up to this day, no other people seem to have lived in Greenland continually for as long as the Saqqaq.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sadlermiut</span> Extinct group of Inuit in Nunavut, Canada

The Sadlermiut were an Inuit group living in near isolation mainly on and around Coats Island, Walrus Island, and Southampton Island in Hudson Bay. They survived into the early 20th century and were thought by some to have been the last remnants of the Dorset culture as they had preserved a culture and dialect distinct from the mainland Inuit. Despite their culture and local traditions seeming to show combined elements of both the Dorset and Thule societies, genetic studies show no Dorset admixture and prove a sole Inuit ancestry leading many to conclude the cultural difference may be entirely due to their isolation from the mainland Inuit. Research published in 2015 found that the Sadlermiut were genetically Thule who had somehow acquired Dorset cultural features, such as stone technology. It remains a mystery how they acquired Dorset technology in the absence of obvious genetic admixture such as through intermarrying.

The Arctic Small Tool tradition (ASTt) was a broad cultural entity that developed along the Alaska Peninsula, around Bristol Bay, and on the eastern shores of the Bering Strait around 2500 BC. ASTt groups were the first human occupants of Arctic Canada and Greenland. This was a terrestrial entity that had a highly distinctive toolkit based on microblade technology. Typically tool types include scrapers, burins and side and end blades used in composite arrows or spears made of other materials, such as bone or antler. Many researchers also assume that it was Arctic Small Tool populations who first introduced the bow and arrow to the Arctic, that eventually became the Eskimo archery material culture. ASTt camps are often found along coasts and streams, to take advantage of seal or salmon populations. While some of the groups were fairly nomadic, more permanent, sod-roofed homes have also been identified from Arctic Small Tool tradition sites.

The Maritime Archaic is a North American cultural complex of the Late Archaic along the coast of Newfoundland, the Canadian Maritimes and northern New England. The Maritime Archaic began in approximately 7000 BC and lasted into the 18th century. The culture consisted of sea-mammal hunters in the subarctic who used wooden boats. Maritime Archaic sites have been found as far south as Maine and as far north as Labrador. Their settlements included longhouses, and boat-topped temporary or seasonal houses. They engaged in long-distance trade, as shown by white chert from northern Labrador being found as far south as Maine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of North American prehistory</span>

This is a timeline of in North American prehistory, from 1000 BC until European contact.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Nunavut</span> Aspect of history

The history of Nunavut covers the period from the arrival of the Paleo-Eskimo thousands of years ago to present day. Prior to the colonization of the continent by Europeans, the lands encompassing present-day Nunavut were inhabited by several historical cultural groups, including the Pre-Dorset, the Dorsets, the Thule and their descendants, the Inuit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Independence I culture</span> Paleo-Eskimo culture of northern Greenland

Independence I was a culture of Paleo-Eskimos who lived in northern Greenland and the Canadian Arctic between 2400 and 1900 BC. There has been much debate among scholars on when Independence I culture disappeared, and, therefore, there is a margin of uncertainty with the dates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inuit art</span> Art created by Inuit of the Arctic

Inuit art, also known as Eskimo art, refers to artwork produced by Inuit, that is, the people of the Arctic previously known as Eskimos, a term that is now often considered offensive. Historically, their preferred medium was walrus ivory, but since the establishment of southern markets for Inuit art in 1945, prints and figurative works carved in relatively soft stone such as soapstone, serpentinite, or argillite have also become popular.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Circumpolar peoples</span> Term for Indigenous peoples of the Arctic

Circumpolar peoples and Arctic peoples are umbrella terms for the various indigenous peoples of the Arctic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inuit</span> Group of peoples of Arctic North America

Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic and subarctic regions of Greenland, Labrador, Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Alaska. Inuit languages are part of the Eskimo–Aleut languages, also known as Inuit-Yupik-Unangan, and also as Eskaleut. Inuit Sign Language is a critically endangered language isolate used in Nunavut.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inuit culture</span> Culture of the Inuit in the Arctic and Subarctic region

The Inuit are an indigenous people of the Arctic and subarctic regions of North America. The ancestors of the present-day Inuit are culturally related to Iñupiat, and Yupik, and the Aleut who live in the Aleutian Islands of Siberia and Alaska. The term culture of the Inuit, therefore, refers primarily to these areas; however, parallels to other Eskimo groups can also be drawn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dorset Island</span> Island in the Arctic Archipelago

Dorset Island or Cape Dorset Island is one of the Canadian Arctic islands located in Hudson Strait, Nunavut, Canada. It lies off the Foxe Peninsula area of southwestern Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region. It is serviced by an airport and a harbour.

The Pre-Dorset is a loosely defined term for a Paleo-Eskimo culture or group of cultures that existed in the Eastern Canadian Arctic from c. 3200 to 850 cal BC, and preceded the Dorset culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greenlandic Inuit</span> Nationals of Greenland

Greenlanders are people identified with Greenland or the indigenous people, the Greenlandic Inuit. This connection may be residential, legal, historical, or cultural. For most Greenlanders, many of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Greenlandic. However, the term can in different contexts be delimited more precisely in different ways: as the inhabitants of Greenland, as nationals of Greenland or more broadly as persons who feel a cultural affiliation in a broad sense to Greenland. More controversial is a more recent use of the word in the sense persons of Greenlandic origin, i.e. persons whose parents were born in Greenland.

The Qijurittuq archaeological site (IbGk-3) is an archaeological site located on Drayton Island on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay, Nunavik, in Quebec, Canada. The site contains structural remains and artifacts relating to the Thule/Inuit culture dating back to approximately 700 to 800 years ago.

Patricia D. Sutherland is a Canadian archaeologist, specialising in the Arctic. She is an adjunct professor at Carleton University, an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, and sole proprietor of Northlands Research. Much of her recent research has focused on evidence of a lengthy Norse presence on Baffin Island in the 11th to 13th centuries CE and trade between them and the now-extinct Dorset people of the region. Sutherland's theory that there were Europeans on Baffin Island hundreds of years before the Norse settled Greenland at the start of the 11th century is controversial.


  1. "Brooman Point Village". Geographical Names Data Base . Natural Resources Canada.
  2. 1 2 Robert McGhee. Brooman Point Village. The Canadian Encyclopedia . Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  3. Park, Robert W. (2003). "The Dorset culture longhouse at Brooman Point, Nunavut". Inuit Studies. 27 (1–2): 239–253. doi:10.7202/010803ar.
  4. Canada. Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources (1983). Polar Continental Shelf Project: Titles and Abstracts of Scientific Papers Supported by PCSP. Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. p. 6.
  5. Nelson, D. Erle; McGhee, Robert (December 2002). "Aberrant radiocarbon dates on an Inuit arrowhead" (PDF). Arctic. 55 (4): 345–347.
  6. Sutherland, Patricia (2003). "Variability and change in Palaeo-Eskimo architecture: a view from the Canadian High Arctic". Inuit Studies. 27 (1–2): 191–212.
  7. "An Ancient Bond with the Land". Canadian Museum of History.
  8. McGhee, Robert (July–August 1981). "A Tale of Two Cultures: A Prehistoric Village in the Canadian Arctic". Archaeology . Vol. 34, no. 4. pp. 44–51. JSTOR   41727171.

Further reading

Coordinates: 75°46′N097°47′W / 75.767°N 97.783°W / 75.767; -97.783 (Brooman Point Village)