The NOW Project: Living Resources and Human Societies around the North Water in the Thule Area
THE PROJECT IS CLOSED
Project period: 2014-2017
THE NOW PROJECT was interdisciplinary, and involved a close collaboration between archaeologists, biologists and anthropologists.
It was funded by the Velux Foundations and the Carlsberg Foundation.
The project aimed at uncovering the dynamic relations between the living resources and the hunting societies of the Thule area in a long-term perspective by integrating archaeological, biological, and anthropological perspectives. The regional focus was on the North Water (NOW) situated in northernmost Baffin Bay, being a so-called high Arctic oasis – a polynya –making life possible in an otherwise deep-frozen world.
While constituting an oasis of open water, NOW was circumscribed by the sea-ice during a substantial part of the year. Life by the polynya is premised as much by the presence of the ice and the ice edge, as by the open water. During the last decades the extent and volume of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean have declined drastically in a seemingly irreversible process. This has profound impacts on animal populations and on the communities facing severe instabilities in their resource base.
This project responded to the urgent need to understand the dynamic relationships between the important marine game and bird populations and the human subsistence strategies in the polynya area. The project combined biological, archaeological, and anthropological perspectives on these issues in both a contemporary and a long-term perspective. Concomitantly, it contributed to fundamental research on the dynamics of High Arctic ecology and subsistence, and have eventually facilitated informed decision-making in times of drastic political, environmental, and social changes.
Kirsten Hastrup, Professor of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (PI)
Bjarne Grønnow, Research Professor (Archaeology), The National Museum (Co-PI)
Anders Mosbech, Research Director (biology), Department of Bioscience, University of Aarhus (Co-PI)
Erik Jeppesen, Professor, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Rune Dietz, Professor professor DSc. Department of Bioscience - Marine Mammal Research, Aarhus University
Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Professor, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Thomas A. Davidson, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Anne Birgitte Gotfredsen, Postdoc, Natural History Museum of Denmark
Kasper Lambert Johansen, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Martin Appelt, Senior Researcher, Archaeology, The National Museum
Jens Fog Jensen, Senior Researcher, Archaeology, The National Museum
Janne Flora, Postdoc, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
Astrid O. Andersen, Postdoc, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
A full list of publications and dissemination initiatives are foundt in the final report.
Head of project
Professor Kirsten Hastrup
Department of Anthropology, UCPH
Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, Office 33.1.39
Phone: +45 35 32 64 60
The NOW project was funded by the Velux Foundations and the Carlsberg Foundation.
Full project name: The NOW Project: Living Resources and Human Societies around the North Water in the Thule Area
Head of project: Kirsten Hastrup