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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries A.D., the ancestors of modern Inuit settled into the Eastern Arctic, building durable regional economies that were integrated through a far-flung trading network. Although cultural and economic diversity increased over time, a hallmark of this period was bowhead whaling, which supplied a significant proportion of the food, fuel, and raw materials consumed in many areas, and shaped social and political life by virtue of the importance of boat-crew-based organization. A western Arctic flavor to this pattern is reflected in the ubiquity of a combined dance house–men’s house and associated shared-mound house group, both of which decline or undergo substantial transformation during later precontact times, after a collapse of whaling coincident with the onset of the Little Ice Age.

Keywords: Classic Thule, Inuit, settlement, economy, social life, bowhead whaling

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