In the following chapters I present the archaeological, the written and the oral sources which form the basis of ethnohistory in South West Greenland. The background to the Thule culture there is then discussed on the basis of the available archaeological source material from Greenland and my choice of source-types is defended. An interpretation of these sources emphasizes the cultural tradition which lies behind the Thule culture in South West Greenland.
Chapter II describes the archaeological investigations in Godthåb District and discusses the development of the Greenlandic winter dwelling.
Chapter III describes the archaeological find material from Godthåb District and dates this chronologically to the period 1300-1800 AD. The main categories of artefacts are discussed and their significance for the descripion of the Thule culture is emphasized. I also re-examine whether a cultural continuity can be demonstrated in South West Greenland during the five centuries.
Chapter IV deals with the historical sources and discusses how they corroborate the archaeology. The geography of the settlement pattern is described and the origin of the house types is discussed. The chronology of the artefacts can thereafter be related to the ethnographic descriptions which. This is done by examining trade and exchange in South West Greenland. The chapter demonstrates that ethnohistory deepens our interpretation of archaeology.
Chapter V reconstructs the cultural stratigraphy in West Greenland and discusses the cultural background of the Thule culture in South West Greenland on the basis of the occurrence of selected diagnostic types (i.e. soapstone lamps, harpoon heads and Norse objects). I examine whether meetings of cultures could have taken place before the meeting with the Norse community.
Chapter VI establishes a model for the cultural influences on the Thule culture by examining the forms of the harpoon head and its distribution as a territorial marker. This shows how the prehistoric meetings of cultures can be discerned in the Eskimo tradition in South West Greenland after 1600 AD.
Chapter VII discusses tradition in ethnohistory, and the continuity in Thule culture is viewed in relation to theories concerning migration and meeting of cultures in Greenland.
Hans Christian Gulløv f. 1946 i Oslo, Norge; antropolog og arkæolog, museumsinspektør ved Nationalmuseets Etnografiske Samling siden 1997, forskningsprofessor 2001–09 ved Center for Grønlands-forskning (SILA).