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The Study Area: Truelove Lowland, Devon Island

QkHn-12 is a multi-component site situated on the Jones Sound coast of Truelove Lowland, Devon Island. It was selected in 1984 for the Northern Heritage Society field school because of its extensive Pre-Dorset component, but the 1986 excavations began the investigation of the site's more limited Thule culture component.

The Thule remains at QkHn-12

The occupation of site QkHn-12 by the Thule is demonstrated by the presence of three (probably) winter houses (numbers 1, 2 and 3) and also by two tent rings. House 1 was a winter house with two rear sleeping platforms while House 2 was a small oval house with a single rear sleeping platform. It appears to have been at least partially excavated, perhaps by Gordon Lowther in 1960-61 (Bertulli and Strahlendorf 1984:11). House 3 was heavily overgrown, and may be a multi-roomed house or might in fact be two houses.

House 1 was chosen for excavation for several reasons. House 2 had been at least partially excavated (although it appears that the deeper portions of the house may not have been disturbed) and interpretation of the results of excavating it would have been difficult without documentation from the previous excavation. The form of House 3 could not be accurately determined and, when we arrived at Truelove, it was still partly covered with snow which would have made its excavation extremely difficult. However, Houses 2 and 3 were not considered seriously because House 1 appeared to meet all the requirements of the project. It was essentially undisturbed and structurally intact, and its style (having multiple sleeping platforms) offered some hope of its having derived from a later Thule occupation (Schledermann 1976:42-43) which fit in with one of the research goals. Finally, the size of the house was such that its excavation was feasible in the time available, even given the field school nature of the excavation.

The Fieldwork >>