RAPID Garšar Collaborative Rescue Project - 2012

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Project Details

Title:RAPID Garšar Collaborative Rescue Project - 2012
Abstract:RAPID is an intensive international multi-disciplinary effort to salvage critical organic remains (zooarchaeological, archaeobotanical, artifactual, geoarchaeological, bioarchaeological, and archaeoentomological) from rapidly degrading cultural deposits at the unique site of Garšar E47 at modern Igaliku. Garšar was the bishops’ manor farm with a large stone cathedral and stalling space for well over 100 cattle. Major excavations at the site were carried out by Poul Nųrlund in 1926 that documented the unusual size and layout of the church and manor farm and recovered some human and animal bone, but without observing stratigraphy or employing any systematic recovery strategy (Nųrlund 1929). This site is key to understanding the changing structure and organization of Norse Greenland and its societal response to climate change and culture contact, but its unique archaeological record is now under urgent threat. As in other portions of the circumpolar north, rapid warming in the past decade has drastically degraded once outstanding conditions of organic preservation, as seasonally frozen ground now thaws completely every year and organic deposits preserved for thousands of years are rapidly decaying. In Greenland, a major finding of the 2007-10 International Polar Year effort is the rapidity and scope of loss of once well-preserved organics all across South Greenland.

At Garšar medieval irrigation systems had created substantial wet meadows around the bishops’ manor farm, but in 2004 -05 modern farmers began cutting a series of deep drainage trenches in this meadow area. Site visits (Kapel 2005) confirmed that these ditches had exposed extensive midden deposits with well preserved bone and wood visible in profile.

The RAPID project is aimed at rescuing these deposits, but intensive excavation during July-August 2012.

Keywords:Greenland, Norse, Zooarchaeology, Climate, Subsistance, Eastern Settlement
Sponsors/Funders: NSF Office of Polar Programs
Region:Quaqortoq municipality, Igaliku Fjord
Project Start Year:2012
Projected End Year:2013

Account Owner

Contact: Konrad Smiarowski
Institution: HERC - CUNY Graduate School and Univeeersity Center
Postal Address: 365 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY

Post Code: 10016
Telephone: +19175742674
Email: zaglobax@yahoo.com

Project Collaborators

Name: Jette Arneborg
Address: Frederiksholms Kanal 12 DK-1220 COPENHAGEN K
Country: Denmark
Phone: +45 3347 3441
Email: jette.arneborg@natmus.dk
Website: http://www.natmus.dk
Name: Tom McGovern
Institution: Dept Anthropology, CUNY
Country: USA
Name: Georg Nyegaard
Institution: Greenland National Musuem & Archives
Address: Hans Egedes vej Postboks 145 Nuuk
Postcode: 3900
Country: Greenland
Phone: +299 322611
Email: georg.nyegaard@natmus.gl
Website: http://www.natmus.gl
Name: Ian Simpson
Institution: School of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling
Address: Stirling
Postcode: FK9 4LA
Country: Scotland, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467850
Email: i.a.simpson@stir.ac.uk
Name: Konrad Smiarowski
Institution: HERC Center & CUNY Graduate School and University Center
Address: 365 Fifth Avenue New York, NY
Postcode: 10016
Country: USA
Email: zaglobax@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.polarfield.com/blog/tag/konrad-smiarowski/
Name: Orri Vésteinsson
Institution: Icelandic Archaeological Institute ( FSĶ), University of Iceland
Address: Bįrugata 3 , Reykjavķk
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland
Email: orri@instarch.is
Website: http://www.instarch.is

Project Content

PDF File
E47 Preliminary Zooarchaeology Report Konrad Smiarowski [1.05 MB]
Preliminary zooarchaeology Report for the 2012 excavation, data current as of September 2013.

Project Location

Latitude: 60.98871°N
Longitude: 45.4212°W