Clavering Island (with Musk Oxen and Inuit Sites)

Between Spitsbergen and Greenland. Days 43. 10th August 2013.

Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

In our first landing on the desolate wilderness of Greenland, at Dødemandsbugten (Dead Man’s Bay) on Clavering Island, we found a resident population of humans.  They were a working party of Danes, restoring some of the old huts.  So our first experience in Greenland was unexpected social interaction.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is the first of eleven posts on Greenland.  The map shows our route, coming down from the north.  Click the map if you would like to see it larger.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Many of us went for a walk in the hills behind the hut and soon came across a group of musk oxen, though quite some distance away.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Musk oxen, despite the name, are actually more closely related to sheep and goats than oxen.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Turning in the opposite direction from the musk oxen, here are a couple of views from the island across the water to the mainland.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was the remains of a whole ancient Inuit village near the beach, not far from the hut.  This I think is the remains of an Inuit safe or fridge, where they could store kills such as seals, safe from polar bears and arctic foxes.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is the foundations of an Inuit house.  The entrance way is the crease in the ground to the right.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another house and a few more modern maritime remains.

There were several different waves of Inuit occupation of parts of Greenland, dating back as far as 2500BC.  Settlement failed around 200AD and was not renewed until around 800AD.  Most settlement movements appeared to have started from the north-west.  Vikings also settled in the far south of Greenland from about 980AD to something like 1450.  Our archaeologist Carol said how old these remains were and I remember only vaguely but it may have been something like 600 years ago.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another house.  Judging by the mound and the amount of rocks, this may have had a stone roof.  Some used whalebone for roof support.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A two-roomed house this time, with the ship and the coast in the distance.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After some hours on shore, we went back to the ship for lunch.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After lunch, we sailed a little way along the coast of Clavering Island to Eskimones.  Some of us went for a walk inland, accompanied of course by people with rifles and this is a view over a lake in the interior of Clavering Island.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back on the beach, there were a number of interesting artifacts of times past.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And who would have thought that the ancient Inuit would have had metal tea pots and a milk churn.  Most unusual for a neolithic culture.  Then again, perhaps there’s another explanation….

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another hut being restored, presumably with a Dane beside it.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And finally, an interesting assortment of boats of perhaps questionable seaworthiness.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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3 comments on “Clavering Island (with Musk Oxen and Inuit Sites)

  1. Very interesting and the tongue in cheek comments made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

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