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RAPID Gardar Collaborative Rescue Project

General

Project start
01.01.2012
Project end
31.12.2013
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Society, economy and culture
Project topic
Culture & history

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 69.2166667, -51.1

Fieldwork start
12.07.2012
Fieldwork end
16.07.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
18.07.2012
Fieldwork end
22.08.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 61.1605, -45.426

Fieldwork start
23.07.2012
Fieldwork end
20.08.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 64.1833, -51.75

Fieldwork start
20.07.2012
Fieldwork end
23.07.2012

SAR information

Project details

01.08.2019
Science / project plan

.

Science / project summary
This RAPID grant will support an intensive international multi-disciplinary effort to salvage critical organic remains from rapidly degrading cultural deposits at the unique site of Gardar E47 at modern Igaliku in the former Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland. This site is unique in that it represents a church and manor farm from the 11th century, was the administrative and religious center for the first settlement of the Norse in Greenland, and remained thus until the extinction of the Norse ca 1450. As such, the Gardar site has the potential to provide unique insights into the changing structure and organization of Norse Greenland and its society response to climate change and culture contact at this time period. The site at Gardar is very rich in archaeofauna, which is the source of concern and the reason for this RAPID grant. When Gardar was assessed as part of an IPY project on how climate change was affecting cultural resources in the Arctic, it was highlighted as a highly endangered site. As recently as 1981 the site was shown to have great preservation of organic materials; unfortunately, the previously favorable conditions are rapidly changing due to changing climate conditions in the Arctic. The decrease in frozen ground is creating an unidentifiable "bone mush" out of much of the previously well preserved organic materials at the site. In addition to the changing environmental conditions, the local farmers have been cutting deep drainage ditches into the meadows surrounding the site in order to drain off the now standing water. These ditches have further destabilized the site exposing it to further melting and destruction of organic data. The site has been nominated by the Government of Greenland as a UN World Heritage Site because of its unique contribution to the cultural history of modern Greenland, making the threatened data and the scientific analyses and insights that could be gained all the more important. The field team has three objectives for the 2012 season: to 1) carry out an intensive season of rescue excavation and site documentation of the most endangered deposits; 2) ensure effective post-excavation curation and analysis of the rescued materials; and 3) leave the Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaaterqarfial/The Greenland National Museum & Archives (NKA) with an accurate digital site map and geophysical prospection results they will need to effectively manage this nominated World heritage site for the benefit o f the Greenlandic community.
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