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Reconstructing House 1

After considerable thought, the author decided to attempt the reconstruction of House 1 (or at least the below-ground part of it) upon the completion of the excavation. Several factors led to this decision, which was only made part way through the field season. First, the house had been remarkably well-preserved and well constructed, so we had a very good idea of what it had looked like. Second, and most important, was the strong interest in and curiosity about our excavations expressed by the non-archaeological researchers who were also working at Truelove. In light of this, it was felt that the presence near the research station of a reconstructed house, which anyone could visit and understand, would go some way towards sensitizing these other Arctic researchers to the archaeology of the north and its potential. In addition, it would be of great use to the Northern Heritage Society for as long as that organization continued to operate its field school at this location, to illustrate vividly what a Thule house would have been like to live in (which is difficult to do with unexcavated houses).

For these reasons, we rebuilt the house after the departure of the students to Resolute. A few liberties were taken since one of our goals was to ensure that the reconstructed house would not collapse in the near future. For this reason, the cooking alcove and the entrance passage were flagged in the reconstruction, although they hadn't been originally. Almost all the wall rocks had been left in place during the excavation but the platforms had been largely dismantled. These were rebuilt with the dual goals of making them structurally sound while at the same time replacing as many as possible of the rocks back in their original positions.

This reconstruction obviously provides only a partial sense of a Thule winter house since the entire roof is missing. However, it does provide a glimpse of the architectural skills of the Thule people.

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