Archaeological Site Distributions on the South Coast of Devon Island, High Arctic Canada

Book Chapter
CAA Occasional Paper No. 1 1:131-142 (1991)


Helicopter and foot surveys carried out in 1985 and 1987 by the NOGAP-Archaeology Project, covered most of the southern coast of Devon Island. The 269sites recorded represent all known periods of prehistoric and historic occupation of the High Arctic. Analysis of the distribution of components suggests that coastal locations close to the mouths of bays and fiords were favoured by most prehistoric occupants of the area. Palaeo-Eskimo occupations appear to have been more heavily concentrated in the western portions of the coast, and Dorset occupations were particularly associated with the inner coasts of the large bays of southwestern Devon Island. Neo-Eskimo occupations were more evenly distributed throughout the survey area. It is postulated that these distributions can be best explained in terms of access to different sea ice environments and the sea mammals associated with these environments.