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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The development of Inuit culture out of an ancestral Thule culture base has been a central research question in Arctic archaeology for over a century. Archaeologists were intrigued by the fact that the Inuit lifeways of the ethnographic present, while highly variable, had seemingly developed from a relatively uniform Thule cultural base. However, the past few decades have seen relatively little research directed toward this important issue. This chapter explores the history of research into the origins of Central Arctic Inuit cultures, as well as some of the explanations that have been advanced. It ends by suggesting that Resilience Theory may be a useful theoretical approach for framing the Thule-Inuit transformation in this region.

Keywords: central Arctic, Thule, Inuit, Resilience Theory, transformational change, history of anthropology, climate change, rigidity traps

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