Thule Culture

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Thule Culture


an Eskimo culture that existed between A.D. 900 and 1700 along both shores of the Bering Strait and the arctic coastline, as well as on the Canadian islands and, from the 11th century, in Greenland. The culture was named after Thule, a settlement in Greenland.

The tribes of the Thule culture hunted whale, seal, walrus, and land animals. Characteristic Thule findings include whaling harpoons and flat toggle-type harpoon heads made of bone; linear designs were used in decorations. In the central part of the American arctic region, the eastern Thule culture, as it is called, is distinguished by circular dwellings made of stone and whalebone, the use of harnessed dog teams, stone lamps, snow knives, and figurines representing people, animals, and waterfowl. In the Bering Strait region, what is known as the western Thule culture is characterized by dwellings made of driftwood, weapons, and sinkers.


Bandi, H. G. Urgeschichte der Eskimo. Stuttgart, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It represents the first colonization of the region by Thule people, approximately 200 years after the initial Thule migration from Alaska into the eastern Arctic.
Ancient Thule people showed no genetic relationship to 34 later Scandinavians from southern Greenland.
With regard to the timing of the migration of Thule people, ancestors of the modern Inuit, it is now thought that this cultural group spread from Alaska into the Canadian Arctic in the 13th century AD, (1) although the date of AD 1000 has long been attributed to this occurrence.
The team also used DNA gathered from relics found at the now-abandoned settlements of the Thule people (the likely ancestors of the Inuit) on Somerset Island on the western side of Prince Regent Inlet.
Looking at developments over the almost three decades since the last major conference on the Thule people, archaeologists and ethnohistorians address topics including the origins of the Thule culture; Thule settlement patterns and populations; the archaeology of specific Thule sites and the end of Thule culture and the transition into the modern period.
There, I visited lots of archaeological sites belonging to the Thule people. The Thule lived in Greenland 2,000 years ago when it was fertile and the climate was warm and could sustain their animals and crops.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-28 May 2003-UN unlikely to investigate forced move of Thule people now(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD
The Thule people hunted at sea, and took animals as large as bowhead whales.
Objects created over a thousand years ago by the Dorset culture people find themselves next to pieces newly carved by descendants of the subsequent Thule people. Franceschi's fabulous black-and-white photographs display the spirit of these pieces.
It was not the object "house" that accompani ed the Thule people, but simply the idea (or the mental concept) of how a house had to look.
Thule people, with their dog teams (and boats), apparently moved from Alaska to Greenland in little more than a century.