An experimental approach to Inuit ground stone technology at Nachvak Fiord, Labrador

Higdon, John Lawrence (2008) An experimental approach to Inuit ground stone technology at Nachvak Fiord, Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

lthough nephrite use has been studied from various perspectives in many parts of the world (Asia, Mesoamerica, and western Canada), discussion of its use amongst the precontact Inuit of Labrador is limited. Archaeologists have discussed possible nephrite sources in Labrador in the past, but have not dealt directly with its exploitation. Focusing mainly on the nephrite assemblage recovered from Nachvak Village (IgCx-3) in northern Labrador, the difficulties associated with nephrite procurement, manufacture and use are discussed. The fibrous crystalline structure that gives nephrite its strength and durability also makes it very difficult to work. Concepts of agency, chaîne opératoire and anthropology of technology are used to characterize the ground stone assemblage according to provisional function and stage in the production process. Based on the tools and implements available, the experimental production and use of drill bits are discussed in order to assess the costs and benefits of using nephrite as opposed to slate. Successes and failures associated with the experimental approach are also discussed to highlight the learning process, as well as the nuances of Inuit ground stone technology.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8645
Item ID: 8645
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 189-198)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador--Nachvak Fiord
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Excavations (Archaeology)--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nachvak Fiord; Inuit--Implements--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nachvak Fiord; Jade--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nachvak Fiord; Labrador

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