The Archaeology of Old Nuulliit

Eigil Knuth’s Investigations in the Thule Region, North Greenland, 1952-1990

Mikkel Sørensen

The Archaeology of Old Nuulliit

Mikkel Sørensen

Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

146 pages | 7 1/2 x 10 1/2 | © 2010
Cloth $43.00 ISBN: 9788763531665 Published October 2010 NFS UK, IRELAND, AND SCANDINAVIA

Count Eigil Knuth succeeded in finding a Palaeo-Eskimo settlement named “Old Nuulliit” on the well-known Nuulliit site in the Thule area. This site was settled by the first immigrants to Greenland – a hitherto unknown culture group, “the Old Nuulliit Culture”, which was closely related to Pal¬aeo-Eskimo culture groups in Alaska. Knuth never published his findings in detail, which became a mystery in Arctic archaeology circles.

New investigations by the author of the material shows that the site was settled repeatedly by the first immigrants between 2500 BC and 1900 BC, and in addition that a total of ten family groups of the Pre-Dorset culture had settled there – the first real settlement of the Pre-Dorset culture in Greenland to be described. The finds underscore the cultural and historical diversity of the Thule area.


1. The field of research
1.1 Eigil Knuth and Nuulliit
1.2 The environment at Nuulliit
1.3 Eigil Knuth’s first surveys to find Palaeo-Eskimos in the Thule region, 1952–1958
1.4 The Archaeology of New Nuulliit
2. The Archaeology of Old Nuulliit
2.1 Eigil Knuth’s investigations of Old Nuulliit: ruins, artefacts and prehistoric traditions for each plateau
2.2 Organic material from Old Nuulliit
2.3 Absolute dating
2.4 Later Archaeological investigations at Nuulliit
3. Discussion
3.1 The settlements at Old Nuulliit and their cultural affiliations
3.2 Eigil Knuth as an archaeologist at Nuulliit
3.3 Conclusions
4. Perspectives and potentials: Nuulliit and the archaeology of the Thule region

Appendix: List of place names and terminology
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