The Bache Peninsula archaeological sites are located on ELLESMERE ISLAND
in Nunavut. The sites were occupied about 4200 years ago by hunting bands believed to have originated from northeast Asia and Alaska. Remains of Palaeoeskimo seasonal hunting camps have been found in northern interior valleys and on raised marine terraces along the south and central coast of the Island. Artifacts include small, finely made stone tools of the Arctic Small Tool tradition and artistic carvings from the late DORSET
period. In the late 12th century the THULE
-culture Inuit, who are the direct ancestors of all the present-day INUIT
, arrived from the Bering Sea and replaced the Dorset population. The remains of Thule culture settlements are found along the coastlines of fjords and islands advantageous to hunting sea-mammals, including large bowhead WHALES
. Contact with NORSE VOYAGERS
seems to have occurred c 1250 AD in the Smith Sound region. Ellesmere Island was abandoned by the Inuit sometime during the Little Ice Age, between 1650 and 1850 AD.
See also PREHISTORY; ARCHAEOLOGY.