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Details of a science project

DNA evidence of hunting practices in Svalbard over 400 years


Using methods that have produced far-reaching insights into the demographic history in Greenland, the DNA400 Project sets out to investigate well-preserved biocultural materials from archaeological sites in Svalbard in order to reconstruct hunting strategies as well as subsistence economies across the different hunting eras in the archipelago. Features that lend themselves extremely well are, for instance, refuse heaps and blubber ovens. In a pilot study during the Dutch expedition, we will target a whaling site (Gashamna), a Pomor site (Dolerittneset), an early modern mining site (Advent City), and a former science base (Würzburgerhytta). In addition to animal species that traditionally dominate excavated zooarchaeological assemblages, we expect to be able to add a new dimension with evidence of previously under- or unreported species. As in Greenland, we now have an option of reviewing all earlier assumptions and drawing new conclusions about long-lasting living-resource exploitation.

People involved in the project Frigga Kruse.

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