Activities 2017

November 8th-11th 2017

Dr. Sean Desjardins from the Arctic Centre at Groningen will be visiting. He will present at the internal seminar, and also give an open talk at the archaeology research seminars:

Title: Changing climates, changing fortunes? Evaluating the impact of the Little Ice Age on long-term Neo-Inuit food security in central Nunavut, Arctic Canada

Abstract: Little substantive information is available on responses (or adaptations) to past episodes of natural climate change by Indigenous peoples in the Arctic. In this talk, I present a notable exception: new data on Neo-Inuit (ca. AD 1250 to present) responses to decreased temperatures (and increased sea ice) associated with the Little Ice Age (ca. AD 1300 to 1900) climate change episode in the resource-rich Foxe Basin region of central Nunavut, Arctic Canada. Cooler temperatures should have rendered coastally-adapted Neo-Inuit increasingly dependent on landfast-ice-dwelling small seals (e.g., Pusa hispida) during winter months. However, an analysis of faunal remains from Foxe Basin’s largest-known Neo-Inuit winter site, Pingiqqalik (NgHd-1), suggests a subsistence economy based largely on walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), which prefer open water and moving ice. This pattern is relatively consistent from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries AD. Two conclusions can be drawn from these results: 1) a system of recurring polynyas were likely insulating site residents from the worst effects of the LIA, and 2) residents were effectively weathering any changes through a unique sea-mammal caching regime, a form of which continues among Inuit residents of the area today.

Sept. 28th -Oct.1st 2017 Activities for the public in Hasvik municipality

Charlotte Damm and Jan Magne Gjerde engaged in a series of open activities. Damm gave a talk at the History Society,where she presented the Stone Age Demographics projects, it objectives and some early results.  An open  guided walk to secveral of the new sites on Håen discovered was organized on the Saturday. Gjerde was in charge of organising a "Stone Age day" for two of the small schools, with a variety of activities, including food from a cooking pit, cutting hides with flint knives, and discussing rock art stories.

Jan Magne gjerde preparing the cooking pit so the students get a taste of prehistoric life. Foto: C.Damm
Charlotte Damm heading the guided tour to various Stone Age sites in the area. Foto: J.M.Gjerde

August 28th-September 15th 2017

Dr. Isabell Schmidt from the Institute for Prehistory and Early History at the University of Cologne will be visting  to exchange ideas on early hunter-gatherer demography and mobility.

Isabell will present at the research seminar on Sept. 8th. Her title is

«Late Pleistocene Population Dynamics: demography and mobility of hunter-gatherers at different scales»

The presentation will provide a short overview on studies of demographic processes and introduce the "Cologne Protocol", an approach recently applied within a large scale project to the Late Pleistocene archaeological record of Europe. In the light of ongoing research she will discuss possible interpretative frameworks of mobility and migration, using models developed in Archaeology, Ethnography and Biogeography.

Isabell Schmidt at her presentation. Foto: E.K.Jørgensen

August 6th -11th Surveys at Årøya

A team of four (Gjerde, Skandfer, Vollan and Damm) surveyed predominantly on  Årøya in the Altafjord. The testpitting revealed a good number of new sites, as well a a new rock painting. Botanists and paleo-ecologists from the ECOGEN-proejct at Tromsø University Museum also spend a day with us, to core two little lakes in order to reconstruct vegetation and look for human impact on the island.

As en exciting conclusion to the fieldwork, a new boulder with rock art was discovered at Isnestoften on our way back to Tromsø!

Vardnesodden seen from the sea. Foto: C.Damm
The new rock painting at Årøya fopund by Jan Magne Gjerde. Foto: C.Damm
Isnestoften 6 discovered by Jan Magne Gjerde. Foto: J.M.Gjerde

June 25th - July 2nd 2017

A new field season on Sørøy in Hasvik municipality. We continued recording and documentation of sites started in 2016. We now have a near exhaustive record of alle sites with visible dwellings in the Hasvik-Sørvær region. In addition we surveyed Nordsandfjord and the most promissing locations in Dønnesfjord, with very interesting finds at some locations and important negative results in others.

We have also recorded a large number of dwellings east of Hasfjord at Taborshamn and Jakobbukta. These sites were not previously known.


The team on the trip to Nordsandfjord. From left: Skandfer, Damm, Jordan, Vollan and Jørgensen and Ainu the dog. Foto: M.Skandfer
Taborshamn has a natural harbour and a large number of prehistoric dwellings, discovered by the team this year. Foto: M.Skandfer


June 11th-13th 2017

Damm, Hood and Skandfer will participate in the 2017 ESSAS 3rd International Open Science Meeting in Tromsø, where they wil present a joint paper in the session Paleo-Ecology and join the  WKS1: Paleoecology of Subarctic and Arctic Seas Planning Workshop.


May 10th-12th 2017

Dr. Karen Wicks, post-doctoral research assistant to Professor Steven Mithen, University of Reading, UK will visit us. She will give an open lecture, and discuss Methods and approach with SARG in general.

The titel of the lecture is:

Resilience or wipe out?
Evaluating the convergent impacts of the 8.2 ka event and Storegga tsunami on the Mesolithic of northern Britain


April 21st-April 28th 2017

Dr. Carol Lentfer from from University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia and University of Liege, Belgium is visiting to conduct a small pilot study on use-wear and residue analyses on our stone tools.  The indications are positive and we hope to proceed with a more extensive study.

Carol Lentfer at the microscope. Foto: C.Damm


April 1st to7th 2017

Dr. Marianne Skandfer and Erlend Kirkeng Jørgensen partipate at the IASC Arctic Science summit Week 2017 in Prague, The Czech Republique. They will present papers in the session Long-Term Perspectives on Arctic Change: Implications for Archaeology, Palaeoenvironments and Cultural Heritage co-chaired by SARG associate Prof. Peter Jordan.


March 21st-23rd 2017

6 SARG members participated at Steinalderkonferansen 2017 (The Stone Age Conference 2017) in Bergen.

Marianne Skandfer Foto: C.Damm
Jan Magne Gjerde Foto: C.Damm
Anja Niemi Foto: C.Damm
Stone Age Demographics was well represented at the conference. From left: Gjerde, Jørgensen, Damm and Skandfer. Vollan also participated. Foto: xxx