REMAINS has started
researchers will improve the understanding of processes controlling the preservation of archaeological sites in Greenland and develop research based tools that can be used for locating and managing sites at risk. The research project "Remains of Greenland" is supported by the VELUX FOUNDATION with five million kr.
A single human hair found in a Greenlandic kitchen midden has given new insight into the first Greenlanders genome. Thanks to permafrost, the hair was preserved for more than 4000 years. But even in areas without permafrost in the southern parts of Greenland exceptional findings of well-preserved objects of wood, bone, fur, leather and textile have been made. The objects are safe and secure in the cold, damp and oxygen-poor deposits. At least for a while. Climate change is detrimentally affecting preservation conditions. The hitherto well preserved archaeological deposits may thereby be exposed to accelerated breakdown and their cultural and scientific value may be lost. The project Remains of Greenland is initiated as a direct response to the threat from climate change and to the enormous challenge the National Museum of Greenland is currently facing.
The project is led by Jorgen Hollesen senior researcher at the National Museum's Department of Environmental Archaeology and Material Research.
- We cannot prevent climate change, but we can try to limit the damage as much as possible by developing predictive models that show which areas are most vulnerable to the climate threat, says Jørgen Hollesen.
Therefore, he and a team of researchers from the National Museum of Denmark, the Greenlandic National Museum and Archives and Center for Permafrost, University of Copenhagen are going to identify threats to the Arctic heritage and create models that can assist the Greenland National Museum to pin-point the most vulnerable areas and thereby help to prioritize and optimize future archaeological investigations.The research project will begin 1 March 2016 and run for 3 years.