Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

Expedition Relics from High Arctic Greenland

A history of Euro-American exploration through 101 artifacts.

Protected by remote tundra, undisturbed artifacts from late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century expeditions into Greenland provide a unique window into the history of exploration. Expedition Relics from High Artic Greenland reveals the grueling story of European-American exploration through 101 of these artifacts—from personal documents and carvings to professional equipment and supplies. Discovered at thirty-two sites along Greenland’s northwest coast, these sundry artifacts chart the history of American, British, and Scandinavian exploration in the Artic from 1853 through 1934. Beautifully illustrated, this book offers unprecedented access to one of the most remarkable eras of geographical discovery.

500 pages | 325 color plates | 9 x 11

Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography

History of Science

Museum Tusculanum Press image

View all books from Museum Tusculanum Press

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. Bjarne Grønnow, The National Museum of Denmark

Chapter 1. Introduction and scope 
1.1. This book: aims, maps, museums, and published sources   
1.2. Exploration background   
1.3. The collecting instinct: personal reflections  
1.4. From simple labelling to historical study 
1.5. Terminology, names, spellings and photo credits 

Chapter 2. Prehistoric and historic sites and their artefacts 
2.1. The collection: preservation, patina and further research 
2.2. Archaeology and artefact types
2.3. What constitutes a ‘historic site’?
2.4. There are cairns and there are cairns 
2.5. Expedition stations, native settlements and conservation 
2.5.1. The Far North – north of 81°30′N
2.5.2. South of Humboldt Gletscher (Sermersuaq)
2.5.3. Conservation: wood versus stone 
2.5.4. Etah (Iita): logistic centre with a long history and prehistory  
2.6. Historic sites, graves and early communication  
2.6.1. Deaths, graves and gravestones: a complicated subject 
2.6.2. Sacrificing a historic burial site for military installations 
2.6 3. Buried in Greenland, memorial headboards stranded in Canada
2.6.4. Rock engravings, whaling ships and lichen graffiti
2.6.5. HAP-WILES: black lichen and creative writing in sandstone cobbles
2.7. Guided tours by two outstanding Inughuit  
2.8. Mysterious Inuit copper lamp or qulleq at 82°20′N
2.9. British ‘Fort Conger cart’ abandoned in Greenland  

Chapter 3. Nineteen expeditions and the artefact collection 
3.1. Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin 1853–55 

OBJECT 1: Irregularly cut iron nails
OBJECT 2: Carved antler bone with iron nails
OBJECT 3: Fragments of a coat with buttonholes
OBJECTS 4 and 5: Leather fragments and a leather handle 
OBJECT 6: Fragments of an iron cooking pot   
3.2. American Arctic Expedition 1860–61  
OBJECT 7: Copper washer 
OBJECT 8: Whale bone sledge batten 
3.3. United States North Polar Expedition 1871–73 
OBJECT 9: Iron linchpin 
OBJECTS 10 and 11: Pipe bowl and snow-goggle glass
OBJECT 12: Engraved ‘10 FEET E’ signpost
OBJECT 13: Ice pole 
OBJECTS 14 and 15: Brass hose coupling and iron crane hook 
3.4. British Arctic Expedition 1875–76 
Previously archived material (7 items)
OBJECT 16: Two barrel ends (Allsopp’s Arctic Ale)
OBJECTS 17, 18 and 19: Oval barrel end, a stave and an iron hoop 
OBJECT 20: Round sealed tin can 
OBJECT 21: Brass ‘cooking lamp’
OBJECT 22: Miniature wooden casket
OBJECT 23: Set of wooden buttons
OBJECT 24: Two oak sledge stanchions 
OBJECT 25: Beaumont’s snow saw
OBJECT 26: An astronomical almanac
OBJECT 27: Round sealed can punctured by impact holes
OBJECT 28: Brass spool from canvas boat
3.5. United States Lady Franklin Bay Expedition 1881–84 
Previously archived material (5 items) 
Located but not retrieved cairn records (1 item)
OBJECT 29: Photograph of 1882 cairn record from Kap Britannia 
OBJECT 30: Uppermost part of a tin can
OBJECT 31: Two ‘Liberty Bell’ tin cans with contents, one bulging 
OBJECT 32: Oval barrel hoop 
3.6. North Greenland Expedition 1891–92  
OBJECT 33: Small rusty opened can
OBJECT 34: Circular metal weight 
OBJECT 35: Fish (salmon) spear or kakivak 
3.7. Peary Relief Expedition 1892 
OBJECT 36: Interlocking rifle shells holding a message
3.8. North Greenland Expedition 1893–95 
Previously archived material (1 item) 
OBJECT 37: Part of stove door
OBJECT 38: Cast iron attachment
OBJECT 39: Small carpentry wedge
OBJECTS 40 and 41: Ivory harpoon parts: one reworked 
3.9. Peary Auxiliary Expedition 1894  
Previously archived material (1 item)
OBJECT 42: Cairn message from wine bottle 
3.10. Peary meteorite expeditions 1896 and 1897 
OBJECT 43: Large wrought iron nail
3.11. The Peary Arctic Club Expedition 1898–1902 
OBJECT 44: Two barrel hoops
OBJECT 45: Sample of coal
OBJECTS 46 and 47: Bone ice-axe brace and a sledge part 
3.12. Danish Literary Greenland Expedition 1902–04 
OBJECT 48: Wooden toggle
OBJECT 49: Metal shotgun cartridge 
3.13. The Peary Arctic Club Expedition 1905–06 
OBJECT 50: U.S. embossed shovel 
OBJECT 51: Peary’s Bolo machete 
OBJECT 52: Wooden pulley wheel
3.14. Crocker Land Expedition 1913–17  
OBJECT 53: Gustav Barthel blowlamp projector
OBJECT 54: Brass mortice doorlock 
OBJECTS 55 and 56: Bone and ivory sledge parts 
3.15. 2nd Thule Expedition 1916–18 
Previously archived material (6 items) 
Located but not retrieved cairn records (1 item)
OBJECT 57: Wulff’s botanical trowel
OBJECT 58: Wulff’s ‘Pathé’ (Paris) cinematograph 
OBJECT 59: Brass optical box: accessory to cinematograph 
OBJECTS 60 and 61: Two drill bits and a hand file
OBJECT 62: Six iron nails
OBJECT 63: Two brass rifle shells
OBJECT 64: Small glass bottle 
OBJECTS 65 and 66: English and Swedish sheath knives  
OBJECTS 67 and 68: Two pocket knives 
OBJECT 69: Bone cigarette/cigarillo holder   
OBJECT 70: Three brass rifle shells
OBJECT 71: Unique copper Inuit lamp or qulleq
OBJECT 72: Glud & Marstrand kettle  
3.16. Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition 1920–23 
Previously archived material (1 item)
Located but not retrieved cairn records (1 item)
OBJECT 73: Photograph of cairn record from Kap Daugaard-Jensen
OBJECT 74: Transcript of cairn record from Beaumont Ø
OBJECT 75: Caulking iron used as a masonry chisel
OBJECTS 76 and 77: Sealskin mitten and a bone handle  
OBJECT 78: Glass bottle with cork  
3.17. MacMillan Arctic Expedition 1923–24 
OBJECT 79: Square medicinal bottle
3.18. Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition 1934–35
OBJECT 80: Dunlop pressed-steel automobile wheel 
Place name index (compiled, page numbers to be added when known)
General index (compiled, page numbers to be added when known)
Maps 1 and 2 

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press