Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pioneers in the Northern Circumpolar Areas

24.05.2007
“Arctic Natural climate and environmental changes and human adaptation: from Science to Public Awareness” is one of Norway’s three flagship projects for the International Polar Year.

Archaeology and geology researchers from the University of Tromsø will contribute to the project together with a national team of researchers from around the country.

Archaeology professor Hans Peter Blankholm is looking forward to this interdisciplinary collaboration.

“I believe it’s fantastic that we, together with the geologists, can contribute to solving some of the puzzles of the past,” says Professor Blankholm. “From an archaeological stand point, we will carry out research on the Northern Circumpolar Areas in the period soon after the last Ice Age, which was around 10,000 years ago. We will look at how people who lived here during the Stone Age related to water, the sea, ice and temperature change.”

Where did they come from?

Professor Blankholm says the objective of this comprehensive research project is to create new models and scenarios about how the early settlement in Northern Circumpolar Areas took place.

“Most people believe the earliest human settlement in the High North came from the south, but some hypotheses are exploring the possibility that they also came from the east,” he says.

“There are also many hypotheses about how and why people came so far north. One reason can be that they followed their reindeer northwards. The early settlers also had a very strong connection with the marine environment and they utilised the marine resources well.”

Climate research among people of the Stone Age

What Professor Blankholm does know is that the move occurred very rapidly. In archaeological terms, that means that relatively large populations moved in the space of 500 to 1000 years.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a better chronological breakdown than that and, as such, we allow some tolerance with the notion of time. What we hope to achieve through this flagship project is a better chronological breakdown with the assistance of the geologists’ work.”

“Among other things, the geologists can tell us in detail about the change process in the area which occurred with the ice’s recession. They can help us to bring to light for example a 50-year cold period. After that, we will be able to go in and look at what significance a 50-year period with cold summers had for the population.”

Optimal in the north

Professor Blankholm looks with astonishment at many of the archaeologists’ and public’s marginalisation of the High North. He is often asked what on earth could have lead to human settlement in such isolated, cold and apparently unproductive areas.

“The archaeological discipline has been directed by western culture which has seen the High North as somewhat mystical. But there must be a good reason as to why humans moved here so rapidly after the Ice Age. I believe that the living conditions up here were optimal at that time, and that it must have been absolutely fantastic for these people to be here.”

He expands on this by noting that the population which remained in southern Scandinavia had to contend with a totally new type of natural landscape with new animal and plant species and a totally new way of living. Those who migrated northwards followed well-known animals and living patterns.

Mankind as a whole

It is unknown whether the pioneers who settled here stayed in fixed territories, says Professor Blankholm. “We will look at the dynamics in human migration which lead to the population of regions like Northern Norway. Several population groups probably moved into the area, but we are unsure who these groups were.”

“As far back in time as we are looking, it is difficult to talk about specific ethnic groups or about how the pioneers viewed themselves or others.”

He believes it is important to be aware that a possible nationalistic or ethnocentric attitude in the archaeology may exist.

“Archaeology should contribute to gaining an understanding of mankind as a whole – how we as human beings have related to each other and our natural environments. The long-time perspective in archaeology provides us a unique starting point for this,” says Professor Blankholm, adding: “These relationships require us to assist with the dissemination of information to the public and politicians and, as such, I am extremely happy that this project will contribute to educating research journalists.”

Karen Marie Christensen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uit.no

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

Northwestern discovery tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods

Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material...

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Artificial intelligence meets materials science

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find

19.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>