ARCHIVED Archaeology Glossary - English-Inuktitut-French Glossary
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Nunavut Arctic College, Nunatta Campus (Iqaluit, Nunavut)
Alphabetical index – Archaeology Glossary
Navigation menu providing access to the glossary terms, arranged in alphabetical order.
Glossary – letter A Glossary – letter B Glossary – letter C Glossary – letter D Glossary – letter E Glossary – letter F Glossary – letter G Glossary – letter H Glossary – letter I Glossary – letter K Glossary – letter L Glossary – letter M Glossary – letter N Glossary – letter O Glossary – letter P Glossary – letter Q Glossary – letter R Glossary – letter S Glossary – letter T Glossary – letter U Glossary – letter V Glossary – letter W Glossary – letter Z
Above Sea: ᑕᕆᐅᕐᒥᑦ ᖃᓄᖅ ᖃᕝᕙᓯᒃᑎᒋᓂᖓ: Tariurmit qanuq qavvasiktigininga: Au-dessus du niveau de la mer
Usually abbreviated as "A.S.L" Refers to the elevation (in feet or metres) of a site, feature, or landform above mean sea-level (the level of the surface of the sea midway between high and low tide).
Absolute Dating Methods: ᖃᖓᓕᓴᐅᖕᒪᖔᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓲᑎᑦ: Qangalisaungmangaat qaujinasuutit: Méthodes de datation absolue
In archaeology, methods used to date archaeological sites and specimens to a specific time or time period. Examples of absolute dating methods are dendrochronology, and radiocarbon dating.
Absolute Date: ᖃᖓᓕᓴᓪᓚᕆᐅᓂᖓ: Qangalisallariuninga: Date absolue
A date that is expressed in terms of specific units of time, such as years, centuries or millennia. Absolute dates obtained using radiometric dating methods provide a range of dates rather than a single, exact date (e.g. 700 ± 65 BP). Compare to Relative Date.
Active Layer: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᐊᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖓ: Nunaup auqattarninga: Couche active
In areas of permafrost, the upper layer of soil that thaws each summer and re-freezes during the winter. The poor condition of organic artifacts often found in the active layer is the result of this annual freeze-thaw cycle.
Activity Area: ᐱᓕᕆᕝᕕᕕᓂᖅ/ᑭᓱᓕᕆᕝᕕᕕᓂᖅ: Pilirivviviniq/kisulirivviviniqt: Aire d'activités
An area within a site (or feature) where the patterning of artifacts or ecofacts indicates that one or more specific activities took place there. For example, an observed association of bone or antler flaking tools, stone core fragments, stone flakes and debitage would define an activity area in which stone tool manufacture took place.
AD: ᔩᓱᓯ ᐃᓅᓯᒪᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ: Jiisusi inuusimaliqtillugu: Ap. J.-C.
See Anno Domini.
Adaptation: ᓱᖏᐅᓯᒪᓂᖅ/ᐃᓕᑦᑐᖅᓯᒪᓂᖅ: Sungiusimaniq/ilittuqsimaniq: Adaptation
The process of change through which an organism or species becomes adjusted to its environment.
Aerial Photography: ᖃᖓᑕᓪᓗᓂ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕆᓂᖅ ᐃᒻᒪᓂᓴᕐᓂᒃ: Qangatalluni ajjiliuriniq immanisarnik: Photographie aérienne
A form of remote sensing used to reveal the location of surface and subsurface archaeological remains.
Amulet: ᐋᕐᖑᐊᖅ: Aarnguaq: Amulette
An object worn on the body or on clothing as a charm, for example, to bring good luck in hunting. Amulets may take the form of delicately carved effigies of animals or humans, or parts of birds or animals. See Pendant.
Anno Domini: ᔩᓱᓯ ᐃᓅᓯᒪᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ: Jiisusi inuusimaliqtillugu: après Jésus-Christ ou Ap. Jésus-Christ
Usually abbreviated as "AD." Latin phrase meaning in the year of the Lord (i.e. the Christian era). Used as prefix for dates. See Before Christ, Before Present.
Anthropology: ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᓕᕆᓂᖅ: Iliqqusiliriniq: Anthropologie
The scientific study of the cultural and biological differences and similarities of humans from the earliest times up to the present. The subdisciplines of anthropology are archaeology, cultural (social) anthropology, linguistics, and physical anthropology.
Arbitrary Level: ᐊᔾᔨᒌᖏᓐᓇᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐃᓱᒪᖅᓲᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑦᑎᖅᓱᖅᑕᖅ: Ajjigiinginnauninganut isumaqsuutaulluni nalunaikkuttiqsuqtaq: Niveau arbitraire
A vertical subdivision of an excavation unit assigned by archaeologists in sites lacking natural stratification, or where such stratification is difficult to observe. Levels of five or ten centimetres in thickness are commonly used. See Natural Level, Excavation Unit.
Archaeobotany: ᐱᕈᖅᑐᕕᓃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ: Piruqtuviniit qaujisaqtauningit: Archéobotanique
The specialized study of plant remains from archaeological sites. Archaeobotany provides important information about past diet and other uses of plants by human groups. See Ecofact, Palynology.
Archaeological Context: ᓄᓇᑐᕐᓕᕕᓂᖅ: Nunaturliviniq: Contexte archéologique
The location, condition and association of artifacts and features within an archaeological site. The setting in which an archaeological site is found.
Archaeological Resources: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᑦᑕᑦ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᙱᔅᓲᔭᓕᖅᑐᑦ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᑦ ᐅᖓᑖᓄᓪᓘᓐᓃᑦ: Ittarnittat atuqtaunngissuujaliqtut arraagut ungataanulluunniit: Ressources archéologiques
Any site, artifact, ecofact, or associated object that has been abandoned for years or more.
Archaeological Survey of Canada: ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᑦᑎᕆᔨ: Kanatami ittarnittiriniq: Commission archéologique du Canada
The department of the Canadian Museum of Civilization responsible for archaeology. Often abbreviated as "ASC."
Archaeologist: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᔨ: Ittarnisaliriji: Archéologue
An individual who studies the past using scientific methods for the purpose of recording and interpreting cultures.
Archaeologist and Ethnologist Permit: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᔪᓐᓇᐅᑏᑦ: Ittarnisalirujunnautiit: Permis de recherche archéologique et ethnologique
The licence issued by the Government of the Northwest Territories to conduct archaeological field research. Obtaining a permit requires a formal application that is reviewed by a committee representing territorial and federal government agencies, northern communities and professional archaeologists.
Archaeology: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᖅ: Ittarnisaliriniq: Archéologie
A sub-discipline of anthropology. The scientific study of the human past involving the recovery, analysis and explanation of the processes underlying past human behaviour.
Arctic Small Tool tradition (ASTt): ᐃᓄᕕᓂᑐᖃᐃᑦ: Inuvinituqait: Tradition arctique des petits outils (TAPO)
Usually abbreviated as "ASTt." Term applied to the palaeoeskimo peoples that occupied the coastal regions of west and north Alaska (e.g. Denbigh), Arctic Canada (e.g. Independence I and II, Pre-Dorset, Dorset) and Greenland (e.g. Sarqaq). The name refers to the small, chipped-stone tools characteristic of the tradition.
Articulated: ᓴᐅᓃᑦ ᐊᑕᕝᕕᑐᖃᕐᒥᓃᑦᑐᑦ: Sauniit atavvituqarminiittut: Articulé(e)
Term used to describe two or more bones found joined or linked in their correct anatomical positions.
Artifact: ᐱᖁᑎᑐᖃᖅ: Piqutituqat: Artefact
Any object that has been manufactured or modified by humans.
Assemblage: ᓇᕝᕚᖅᑕᐅᔪᓕᒫᑦ: Navvaaqtaujulimaat: Collection, ensemble
All of the artifacts or other cultural materials excavated from a site or unit (e.g. midden, test pit, burial) within a site.
Attribute: ᓇᓗᓇᙱᔾᔪᑎᖏᑦ: Nalunanngijjutingit: Attribut
A unique characteristic or quality used to distinguish one artifact from another. Attributes commonly used in archaeological analyses are size, shape and colour.
Awl: ᓂᐅᖅᑑᑦ/ᐃᑰᑕᖅ: Niuqtuut: Alène
A pointed tool made from bone, stone or metal that is used for piercing holes in soft materials such as leather or wood.
Axial Feature: ᐃᒐᓕᖅ/ᐃᒐᕝᕕᒃ: Igaliq/igavvik: Linéament axial
An architectural feature of Palaeoeskimo (Independence, Pre-Dorset, Dorset) culture dwellings. Sometimes referred to as a "mid-passage." It consists of two parallel rows of vertical stone slabs set approximately 0.metres apart, and positioned along the central axis of the house feature. The space between the rows may be completely or partially paved with flat stones, and typically has a rectangular compartment near the centre of the feature, which serves as a hearth or fire pit. The area on either side of the central hearth appears to have functioned as storage space.
Backdirt: ᖃᓗᕋᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᑦ: Qaluraqtauniku: Décombres
The discarded matrix (e.g. soil, gravel) from an excavated archaeological site.
Backfilling: ᖃᓗᕋᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᓂᒃ ᐅᑎᖅᑎᑦᑎᐅᕋᐃᓂᖅ: Qaluraqtaunikunik utiqtittiurainiq: Remblayage
The process of refilling a completed excavation. Backfilling is done in order to return the excavated area as close as possible to its original condition.
Baleen: ᓱᖅᑲᖅ: Suqqaq: Fanon
Thin, parallel plates of bony material suspended from the maxilla of several species of whales. Baleen filters food for the whale from the sea water, and because of its flexible quality it was used by Inuit as lashing material and in the manufacture of various other items. Baleen was referred to as "whalebone" by nineteenth century Europeans who used it extensively in the clothing and furniture industries.
Barb: ᐊᑭ: Aki: Dardillon
A backward-projecting point along the margin of a projectile point or harpoon head. Barbs are designed to hook into the wound and to keep the weapon in place. See Attribute.
Baulk: ᐱᓱᒡᕕᒃᓴᖅ: Pisugviksaq: Berme
An area of unexcavated deposit separating one excavation unit from another. Baulks serve as stratigraphic controls during the excavations, and in some cases are made wide enough to serve as walk-ways through an archaeological site.
BC: ᔩᓱᓯ ᐃᓅᓚᐅᖅᑎᓐᓇᒍ: Jiisusi inuulauqtinnagu: Av. J.-C.
See Before Christ.
Before Christ: ᔩᓱᓯ ᐃᓅᓚᐅᖅᑎᓐᓇᒍ: Jiisusi inuulauqtinnagu: Avant Jésus-Christ
Usually abbreviated as "BC." Refers to the period prior to the birth of Christ. Also abbreviated as BCE, meaning before the Common (i.e. Christian) Era. Used as a suffix for dates. See Anno Domini, Before Present.
Before Present: 19ᑐᖔ: 19tungaa: Avant aujourd'hui (A.-A.)
Usually abbreviated as "B.P." For archaeological dating purposes, B.P. refers by international agreement to the year AD 1950, the year in which the discovery of the radiocarbon dating technique was announced. Thus a date of 900 B.P. ± 100 radiocarbon years, refers to an estimated date of AD 1050 ± 100 (i.e. 1950/900). See Radiocarbon Year, Calibrated Date.
Bering Land Bridge: ᐊᓛᔅᑲᒧᑦ ᐃᑳᕐᕕᕕᓂᖅ: Alaaskamut ikaarviviniq: Détroit de Béring
Term used to refer to the area of land between Alaska and Siberia that was exposed during the last Ice Age as a result of a major drop in sea level. This area, now submerged under the Bering Sea, is believed to be the major route through which humans migrated into the Americas.
Bifacial Retouch: ᐃᒡᓗᒃᑐᑦ ᑮᓇᓕᐅᕆᓂᖅ: Igluktut kiinaliuriniq: Retouche bifaciale
The removal of flakes from both surfaces or "faces" of a stone tool. See Unifacial Retouch.
Bioarchaeology: ᐃᓄᕕᓃᑦ ᓴᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Inuviniit sauninginnik qaujisarniq: Bio-archéologie
The analysis and interpretation of human skeletal remains to obtain information concerning prehistoric societies.
Bladder Inflator: ᐳᕕᕐᕕᒃ: Puvirvik: Gonfleur de vessies
A short, cylindrical bone or ivory mouthpiece used to inflate a seal bladder float used when harpooning sea mammals. The inflator is lashed into the neck of the float, and has a hole drilled through the centre through which air is blown into the float. A bone or wooden peg is used to plug the hole. See Float, Float Inflator.
Blade: ᓴᕕᓕᒃ: Savilik: Lame
A long, thin, parallel-sided stone flake. Cores were often specially prepared in order to produce blades.
Blade Slot: ᓴᕕᓪᓕᕐᕕᒃ: Savillirvik: Porte-lame
A slot cut in the end or side of a tool or weapon into which a stone or metal blade is inserted. Harpoon heads often have blade slots.
Bola: ᑎᖕᒥᐊᕋᓲᑎᑦ: Tingmiarasuutit: Bolas
A weapon used mainly to hunt waterfowl or other birds. It consists of three or four bone or ivory weights suspended on sinew or baleen cords. The weights are swung in the air and thrown at the prey, which become entangled in the strings.
Borden Number: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᕝᕕᐅᔫᑉ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑖ: Ittarnisalirivviujuup nalunaikkutaa: Numéro Borden
The Canadian system of archaeological site classification. Borden site designations consist of four letters and a number. The letters refer to a block of land area defined by the site's latitude and longitude. The number refers to the number of a particular site within the block. Thus, the Borden designation of MaDv-11 refers to the 11th site recorded within the block MaDv. Borden numbers are assigned to all archaeological sites within Canada, with the exception of sites located in areas under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada, which employs a different site classification method.
Bow Drill: ᐃᑰᑕᖅ: Ikutaaq: Foret à archet
A device used to drill holes in which the drill spindle is rotated by means of a small bow. See Drill Bow, Drill Mouthpiece, Drill Spindle.
See Before Present.
Bulb of Percussion: ᐅᓚᒻᒫᖅᑕᐅᔫᑉ ᐊᓂᙵᖕᓂᖓ: Ulammaaqtaujuup aninngangninga: Bulbe de percussion
A feature commonly found on the interior surface of a stone flake. The bulb appears as a small, raised area just below the point of percussion. Its location and other characteristics provide information on the tool and the technique that was used to strike the flake from the core.
Burial: ᐃᓗᕕᖅᓯᓂᖅ: Iluviqsiniq: Inhumation
An archaeological feature constructed for the purpose of interring human remains. Treatment of the dead varies considerably between societies, and burials often contain grave goods. In the Arctic, the dead were often covered with stones or placed in stone cairns. See Grave Site.
Burial Ground: ᐃᓗᕕᖃᕐᕕᒃ: Iluviqarvik: Cimetière
See Grave Site.
Burin: ᕿᙳᓵᖅ: Qinngusaaq: Burin
A pointed stone tool with a distinctive chisel-like edge used to shape and engrave materials such as bone, antler and ivory. Sometimes referred to as a "spalled burin." Burins are a type of artifact characteristic of the Pre-Dorset culture.
Burin-like Tool: ᕿᙳᓵᖑᔮᖅ: Qinngusaangujaq: Instrument du type burin
Often abbreviated as "BLT." Similar in basic function to a burin, but is distinguished from the latter due to the fact that it is ground and polished on all working facets. Burin-like tools are a type of artifact characteristic of the Dorset culture.
Burin Spall: ᑮᓐᓇᒋᐊᕐᓂᖅ: Kiinnagiarniq: Éclat de burin
A small, thin rectangular flake removed from the edge or tip of a burin in order to sharpen the tool.
Butchering Marks: ᓴᐅᓂᕐᓂᕕᒋᓂᑯᐃᑦ: Saunirniviginikuit: Marques de dépeçage
Cut marks left on animal bones as a result of butchering and meat removal. Detailed analysis of cut marks can reveal the types of tools used (e.g. stone or metal) and provide clues concerning butchery methods utilized by prehistoric peoples.
Cache: ᐱᕈᔭᖅ/ᑐᒃᑐᑦ, ᕿᕐᓂᖅ/ᐳᐃᔨᑦ, ᐅᖅᓲᑎᒃᑯᕕᒃ: Pirujaq/tuktut, qirniq/Puijit, uqsuutikkuvik: Cache
A type of archaeological feature typically used for the storage of artifacts or, more commonly, food. Meat caches are a common type of feature in Arctic regions.
Cairn: ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒐᖅ/ᑎᒃᑰᑦ/ᐊᒫᒪᒃᑎᑦᑎᕝᕕᒃ/ᓇᓯᑦᑕᖅᑐᕐᕕᒃ: Inuksugaq/tikkuut/amaamaktittivvik/nasittaqturvik: Cairn ou point de repère
A mound of stones usually set up to mark a location. A type of archaeological feature. See Inukshuk.
Calcination: ᓴᐅᓂᖅ ᐃᑯᒪᓕᓂᑯ: Sauniq ikumaliniku: Calcination
A burning process that reduces bone to a bluish-white colour and makes it very brittle. Calcined bone is often found in archaeological sites where bone was burned as fuel.
Calibrated Date: ᐅᑭᐅᖅᓯᐊᖅᑕᐅᔪᖅ: Ukiuqsiaqtaujuq: Date calibrée
A radiocarbon date for an archaeological site or specimen that has been converted from radiocarbon years to calendar years using a technique that compensates for the small fluctuations that took place in the amount of Carbon-14 in the environment. Sometimes referred to as a "corrected" or "adjusted" date. See Uncalibrated Date.
Canadian Archaeological Association: ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᖏᑦ: Kanatami ittarnisalirijikkut katimajingit: Association canadienne d'archéologie (ACA)
Canada's national association of professional and avocational archaeologists. Often abbreviated as "CAA." Members of the association meet annually to discuss a wide range of archaeological topics and to present the results of archaeological research. The association also publishes the Canadian Journal of Archaeology.
Canadian Conservation Institute: ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᔭᒐᑕᐅᑦᑕᐃᓕᑎᑦᑎᔩᑦ: Kanatami jagatauttailitittijiit: Institut canadien de conservation (ICC)
Usually abbreviated as "CCI." The branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage (Government of Canada) responsible for the conservation and preservation of artifacts and related cultural materials. See Conservator.
Canadian Heritage Information Network: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᓄᑦ ᖃᕆᓴᐅᔭᒃᑯᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ: Ittarnisaliriangujunut qarisaujakkut titiraqsimajut: Réseau canadien d'information sur le patrimoine (RCIP)
Usually abbreviated as "CHIN." A national computerized archaeological site records database maintained by the Government of Canada.
Canadian Museum of Civilization: ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐃᓅᓯᕆᔭᓐᔪᓄᑦ ᑕᑯᔭᒐᒐᕐᕕᒃ: Kanatami inuusirijanjunut takujagagarvik: Musée canadien de la civilisation (MCC)
Usually abbreviated as "CMC." The Canadian Museum of Civilization is Canada's national museum and the main repository for the curation and display of archaeological specimens.
Carbon-14 (C14) Dating: ᐊᕐᔭᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᓄᑕᐅᙱᓐᓂᖅᓯᐅᕐᓂᖅ/ᐱᑐᖃᖅᓯᐅᕐᓂᖅ: Arjanikkut nutaunnginniqsiurniq/pituqaqsiurniq: Datation au carbone 14
Also referred to as "radiocarbon dating." One of the most widely used absolute dating techniques based on the rate of decay of radioactive carbon that is found in all living things. Carbon-14 dating can be used to estimate the age of materials ranging between approximately 75,000 and 500 years B.P. See Absolute Dating Methods, Uncalibrated Date, Before Present.
Catalogue: ᓇᕝᕚᖅᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᑦ: Navvaaqtaujut titiraqtauvallianingit: Catalogue
An ordered listing of the artifacts and other specimens (e.g. faunal remains) recovered from archaeological research. The list includes the provenience information and a brief description for each specimen.
Catalogue Number: ᓇᕝᕚᖅᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᓈᓴᐅᓯᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ: Navvaaqtaujut naasausiqsuqtauningit: Numéro de catalogue
The number assigned to individual archaeological specimens to index them to the site catalogue. In Canada, catalogue numbers consist of two parts: (i) a Borden site designation determined from the site's latitude and longitude, and (ii) the artifact number. Thus, KkDo-3-132 refers to artifact number 132 from the third site within the Borden block KkDo. See Borden Number.
Chert: ᑯᑭᒃᓴᖅ/ᐊᒻᒫᑦ: kukiksaq/ammaaq: Silex noir
A type of cryptocrystalline (i.e. extremely fine-grained) quartz formed in limestone and chalk deposits. It occurs in a variety of colours and is typically found as nodules or in layers. Because it was a common type of rock, and was easily broken to produce sharp cutting edges, chert was one of the most important raw materials for stone tool manufacture throughout prehistoric times. See Flint, Quartz.
Chronology: ᑭᖑᓕᕇᒃᐸᓪᓕᐊᔪᑦ: Kinguliriikpalliajut: Chronologie
The science of arranging events in time according to their date of occurrence. See Cultural Chronology.
Chronometry: ᖃᖓᓪᓚᕆᐅᓂᖓᓂ: Qangallariuningani: Chronométrie
Accurate time measurement.
Closed Socket: ᑑᕐᕕᒃ: Tuurvik: Cavité fermée
A notch or hole cut or drilled into the base of a harpoon head. The tip of the foreshaft fits into the harpoon head socket. In plan view, the interior of a closed socket is not visible. See Foreshaft, Open Socket.
Component: ᓄᓇᑐᕐᓕᕕᓂᖅ: Nunaturliviniq: Élément, composant
A culturally distinctive stratigraphic unit within an archaeological site. Sites yielding materials associated with a single cultural group (e.g. Dorset) have one cultural "component." By contrast, a "multi-component" site contains materials from two or more cultural groups (e.g. Pre-Dorset and Thule). Good hunting and camping locations in Nunavut were used repeatedly over many centuries, and a large number of archaeological sites are multi-component.
Conservation: ᐸᐸᑦᑎᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᖅ: Papattittiarniq: Conservation
Term used to describe a variety of processes aimed at protecting and preserving cultural property for future generations. Conservation involves the knowledge and application of a broad range of scientific techniques in the restoration and preservation of various types of cultural objects. See Conservator.
Conservation Archaeology: ᐸᕝᕕᓵᖅᑕᐅᑦᑕᐃᓕᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Pavvisaaqtauttailitittiniq: Archéologie de conservation
A subfield of contemporary archaeology focusing on the protection of archaeological sites. This approach advocates the preservation, rather than excavation, of archaeological sites.
Conservator: ᐸᐸᑦᑎᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᕐᒥᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᖅ: Papattittianirmit ilinniaqsimajuq: Conservateur
A person professionally trained in one of the fields of conservation science. Conservators typically have expertise in one or more specialized areas such as artifacts, metallurgy, paintings, wood, etc.
Contour Lines: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᐳᖅᑐᓂᖓᑕ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑕᖏᑦ: Nunaup puqtuningata nalunaikkutangit: Lignes de contour
Lines on a topographic map that join points of equal elevation and indicate the shape and height of the land surface.
Contour Map: ᓄᓇᙳᐊᖅ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑦᑎᖅᓱᖅᓯᒪᔪᖅ: Nunanguaq nalunaikkuttiqsuqsimajuq: Lignes de contour
A map showing the location of archaeological features within a site in relation to the surface of the surrounding landscape.
Coprolites: ᐊᓇᕕᓃᑦ: Anaviniit: Coprolithes
Desiccated human or animal fecal remains. Analysis of coprolites can provide information concerning the diet and nutrition of prehistoric populations.
Core: ᐃᓕᒃᑯᐊᖅ: Ilikkuaq: Noyau
A piece of raw material, typically stone, from which flakes are removed. See Flake.
Cortex: ᖃᐅᓪᓗᖅᑕᖅ: qaulluqtaq: Cortex
The rough exterior surface of a piece of chert, flint or a similar lithic material. Because chert is formed in calcium carbonate (e.g. limestone) rocks, a thin cortex of calcareous material often adheres to the exterior surface. Cortex observed on the dorsal surface of a flake indicates that it was one of the first flakes removed from the core.
Crown Land: ᑯᐃᓐ ᓄᓇᖁᑖ: Kuin nunaqutaa: Terres de la Couronne
Lands which are owned or administered by the Government of Canada. Also referred to as "Public Lands."
Cultural Chronology: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑭᖑᓕᕇᒃᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᓂᖏᑦ: Inuit kinguliriiktitausimaningit: Chronologie culturelle
The ordering of cultural groups in time (and space) to produce a history for a given area or region. Although groups flourished at different times and in different places, over most of Nunavut the basic pre-contact cultural sequence is: Independence/Pre-Dorset/Dorset/Thule. Subdivisions of cultural periods are also usually identified (e.g. Early, Middle, Late Dorset).
Cultural Ecology: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓄᓇᒧᑦ ᐊᑕᓂᕆᔭᖓ: Inuit nunamut atanirijanga: Écologie culturelle
The study of the relationships between a culture and its natural and social environments. This is an important area of research within anthropology.
Cultural Level: ᐃᓄᖃᕐᓂᕕᓂᖓᑕ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᕐᓂᖓ: Inuqarniviningata nalunairninga: Couche culturelle
A vertical subdivision of an excavation unit that contains evidence of human occupation or activity. Also referred to as an occupation level. A site occupied repeatedly over a period of years or centuries will contain many cultural levels.
Cultural Resource: ᐃᓄᖕᓄᑦ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᒋᔭᖅ: Inungnut pimmarigijaq: Ressource culturelle
Any object, site, structure or landscape that has importance (e.g. historical, spiritual, traditional) to the members of a community or culture.
Cultural Resource Management: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᒋᔭᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᒥᐊᓂᖅᓯᔨᑦ: Inuit pimmarigijanginnik mianiqsijit: Aménagement des ressources culturelles (ARC)
Usually abbreviated as "CRM." A sub-field of archaeology which focuses on the development of public policies and legislation designed to conserve and manage archaeological resources and thereby protect the record of the past.
Culture: ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖅ/ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖅ: Iliqqusiq/piqqusiq: Culture
The set of learned values, behaviours and beliefs that are characteristic of a particular society.
Data: ᑎᑎᕋᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᐃᑦ: Titiraqsimajut qaujisaqtaunikuit: Données, information
Information based on observations made on an object or phenomenon that serves as the basis for analysis. Artifacts and ecofacts are not data; observations made concerning their recovery context, distribution, shape, raw material, etc., are.
Dating Methods: ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕈᑏᑦ: Qaujisarutiit: Méthodes de datation
In archaeology, methods used to determine the age(s) of a site or objects found within a site.
Datum Point: ᐆᒃᑐᕋᕐᕕᒃ: Uukturarvik: Point de référence
A fixed location in a site on which all measurements are based. Separate datum points are usually used to obtain horizontal and vertical provenience. See Provenience.
Debitage: ᓴᓇᙳᕐᓗᑯᑦ: Sananngurlukut: Débitage
The waste byproducts of stone tool manufacture. Sometimes also called detritus. Debitage typically includes stone fragments and flakes in a variety of sizes and shapes, some of which can be made into tools.
Demography: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Inuit qanuippallianinginnik qaujisarniq: Démographie
The study of the number, distribution and vital statistics (births, deaths, disease) of populations. See Bioarchaeology, Palaeodemography.
Dendrochronology: ᖃᓕᕇᒃᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᑦᑎᒍᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓂᖅ: Qaliriikpallianingittigut qaujisarniq: Dendochronologie
A technique of dating archaeological remains based on the counting of tree-rings. Dendrochronology also forms the basis for the calibration of radiocarbon dates. See Cultural Chronology, Calibrated Date, Uncalibrated Date.
Dendroclimatology: ᖃᓕᕇᖕᓂᖏᑦᑎᒍᑦ ᓯᓚᐅᑉ ᖃᓄᐃᓐᓂᕆᓚᐅᖅᑕᖓᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓂᖅ: Qaliriingningittigut silaup qanuinnirilauqtanganik qaujiniq: Dendroclimatologie
A technique of reconstructing past climatic conditions based on the analysis and interpretation of tree-ring data.
Depth Below Datum: ᐆᒃᑐᕋᕐᕕᖕᒥᑦ ᐊᑦᑎᖕᓂᖓ: Uukturarvik attingninga: Distance verticale à partir du point de référence
Usually abbreviated as "D.B.D." The vertical distance of an artifact or feature below the datum plane established for the purposes of excavation.
Depth Below Surface: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᖄᖓᓂ ᐊᑦᑎᖕᓂᖓ: Nunaup qaangani attingninga: Distance verticale à partir de la surface
Usually abbreviated as "D.B.S." The vertical distance of an artifact or feature below the surface of the ground.
Detritus: ᓴᓇᙳᕐᓗᑯᑦ: Sanangurlukut: Détritus
Diffusion: ᐱᐅᓯᕐᓂᒃ ᐊᔪᕆᖕᓂᖅ: Piusirnik ajuringniq: Diffusion
The borrowing by one society of a cultural trait (e.g. customs, ideas, artifacts) belonging to another society as the result of contact. The geographic spread of many cultural traits has been due to diffusion.
Dorsal: ᑐᓄ: Tunu: Dorsal
A biological term that refers to the back or exterior surface of an object. In archaeology, the exterior surface of a stone flake is called the dorsal face. See Ventral.
Dorset Culture: ᑐᓃᑦ: tuniit: Culture Dorset
The name used by archaeologists for the prehistoric culture occupying the eastern North American Arctic prior to the arrival of the ancestral Inuit (Thule). The Dorset culture flourished for nearly two millennia, between approximately 800 BC and AD 1000, and was displaced by the Thule culture which expanded eastward out of Alaska after circa AD 900. Among the most distinctive elements of the Dorset culture are remarkable ivory, bone and wood animal carvings thought to be associated with magic or religious ceremonies.
Drawing Frame: ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᕐᓂᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᓱᖅᑳᖅᑕᕐᕕᒃ: Titiraujarniarluni suqqaaqtarvik: Cadre à dessin
A square wood or metal frame to which is attached a string or wire grid at measured intervals (e.g. 10 cm). The frame is used as an aid in making detailed plan drawings and can also be used as a measuring grid for plotting artifact provenience.
Drill Bow: ᓂᐅᖅᑑᑦ: Niuqtuut: Foret à archet
A curved piece of wood or bone that serves as the handle of the bow drill. The ribs of animals (e.g. walrus) which have a natural curve are often used as drill bows. A narrow strip of hide, which serves as the string of the bow, is tied through holes drilled in each end of the bow.
Drill Bit: ᐃᑰᑕᐅᑉ ᑮᓇᖓ: Ikuutaup kiinanga: Pointe à foret
A sharpened stone or metal point, usually fitted to the end of a shaft, used to bore a hole. Artifacts identified as Palaeoeskimo drill bits are typically small bifaces that taper to a point. Thule drill bits are typically short, cylindrical pieces of hard stone (e.g. nephrite, jadeite) with faceted cutting edges, and are lashed into a narrow socket at the end of the drill spindle.
Drill Mouthpiece: ᑭᖕᒥᐊᖅ: Kingmiaq: Support buccal
A piece of bone or ivory held between the teeth and that fits over the upper end of the drill spindle. The ankle bone (astragalus) of caribou has a natural depression and was often used as a mouthpiece.
Drill Spindle: ᐃᑰᑕᖅ: Ikuutaq: Manche du foret
A round shaft of wood or bone with a hole or socket in the distal end for a drill bit.
Ecofact: ᓴᓇᔭᐅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᑦ: Sanajausimanngittut: Écofact, artefact écologique
A product of the natural environment found in archaeological sites. Ecofacts provide important environmental information about an archaeological site, and include such things as plant pollen, seeds, bones, and shell. They may be introduced to a site independent of human activity (e.g. wind blown pollen) or through specific human behaviours (e.g. hunting and gathering). See Archaeobotany, Palynology.
Elevation: ᑕᕆᐅᕐᒥᑦ ᖃᓄᖅ ᖃᕝᕙᓯᒃᑎᒋᓂᖓ: Tariurmit qanuq qavvasiktigininga: Élévation
The height of an object or place, measured in metres or feet, above sea level.
End Scraper: ᓴᕕᕉᑦ: Saviruut: Grattoir à taillant terminal
A stone tool having a steeply-angled edge, and used to shape soft materials or to scrape or soften hides.
Esker: ᕿᒥᐊᕐᔪᒃ: Qimiarjuk: Esker
A narrow, winding ridge of coarse gravel deposited by meltwater streams within a glacial ice sheet. Eskers are common features of the arctic landscape, in some cases extending for many kilometres and reaching heights of 10 to 20 metres above sea level. Because they offer excellent vantage points from which to monitor wildlife movements, and supply building materials (i.e. rocks), eskers often contain archaeological sites.
Ethnoarchaeology: ᒫᓐᓇᓕᓴᕐᓂᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᓇᓱᐊᕈᑎᒋᓪᓗᒍ ᐱᑐᖃᕐᓄᑦ: Maannalisarnik qaujisarniq tukisinasuarutigillugu pituqarnut: Ethno-archéologie
The study of the material remains of contemporary human behaviour as a means of understanding the archaeological record.
Ethnographic Analogy: ᐱᑐᖃᕕᓂᕐᓄᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐊᕈᑏᑦ/ᑐᑭᓯᒋᐊᕈᑏᑦ: Pituqavinirnut qaujigiarutiit/tukisigiarutiit: Analogie ethnographique
The direct comparison of the material records of modern and prehistoric cultures as a means of inferring the conditions under which the prehistoric record was created.
Ethnography: ᐱᐅᓯᕐᒥᒃ/ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᕐᒥᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᑦ: Piusirmik/iliqqusirmik unikkaat: Ethnographie
The anthropological study and description of a specific culture based on direct fieldwork. Franz Boas' nineteenth-century study entitled The Central Eskimo is an example of an ethnography.
Excavation: ᐱᑦᑎᐊᓕᓪᓗᓂ ᐸᒃᑲᖕᓂᖅ: Pittialilluni pakkangniq: Fouille
The controlled exposure, recording and recovery of buried artifacts and associated materials.
Excavation Grid: ᐸᒃᑲᒡᕕᒃᓴᒧᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑕᑦ: Pakkagviksamut nalunaikkutat: Grille d'excavation
A set of evenly spaced north-south and east-west intersecting string lines that provide the reference system for recording horizontal provenience.
Excavation Unit: ᐸᒃᑲᒡᕕᐅᑉ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᕐᓂᖏᑦ: Pakkagviup ilaakkuurningit: Unité d'excavation
One of the smaller parts into which a site is divided for excavation. Unit boundaries are defined by the excavation grid, are typically square in shape and are no larger than 2 metres on any side.
Experimental Archaeology: ᐱᑐᖃᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕆᓇᓱᖕᓂᖅ: Pituqavinirnik ajjiliurinasungniq: Archéologie expérimentale
The replication and use, through carefully controlled experiments, of objects manufactured during prehistoric times as a means of providing data to aid in the interpretation of the archaeological record. Techniques of tool manufacture and use have been the subject of numerous archaeological experiments.
Fauna: ᐆᒪᔪᑦ: Uumajut: Faune
Latin term referring to animals. Compare to Flora.
Faunal Analysis: ᓂᕿᒋᔭᐅᕙᒃᑐᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ ᓴᐅᓂᖏᑎᒍᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Niqigijauvaktuvinirnik sauningittigut qaujisarniq: Analyse faunistique
The study of animal, bird, fish and shellfish remains recovered from archaeological sites. Faunal analyses provide valuable information about past human diet and subsistence behaviour, as well as environmental conditions. See Zooarchaeology.
Faunal Assemblage: ᐆᒪᔪᕕᓃᑦ ᓴᐅᓂᕕᓂᖏᑦ ᓇᕝᕚᖅᑕᐅᔪᓕᒫᑦ: Uumajuviniit sauniviningit navvaaqtaujulimaat: Ensemble faunistique
All of the faunal remains recovered from an archaeological site or unit within a site.
Faunal Remains: ᐆᒪᔪᕕᓃᑦ ᓴᐅᓂᖏᑦ: Uumajuviniit sauningit: Vestiges faunistiques
The skeletal and associated remains of animals, birds, fish (and shellfish) that are recovered from archaeological sites.
Feature: ᓅᑕᒃᓴᐅᙱᑦᑐᑦ: Nuutaksaunngittut: Constituant
Term used to refer to archaeological remains that are nonportable and thus left on site. Features may be found on or below the ground surface and take the form of architectural remains (e.g. caches, fox traps, house remains, burials), clusters of artifacts or faunal remains, or a soil deposit stained as a result of the complete deterioration of an artifact or ecofact.
Field Research: ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕆᐊᖅᓯᒪᓂᖅ: Qaujisariaqsimaniq: Recherche sur le terrain
Term used to refer to archaeological site surveys and excavations, as opposed to research in the laboratory. Also called "fieldwork."
Figurine: ᐃᓅᔭᖅ: Inuujaq: Figurine
A small carving of a human figure, ivory, bone or wood. Figurines probably functioned primarily as children's toys, but are found in a variety of contexts, including graves.
Finger Rest: ᑎᑳᒍᑦ: Tikaagut: Appui pour le doigt
A small piece of drilled bone or ivory lashed to the midpoint of the harpoon shaft. The finger rest (also referred to as a "hand rest") serves as a stop for the hand when the hunter throws or thrusts the harpoon.
Fire Board: ᓂᐅᕈᑦ: Niurut: Tison
A piece of wood, often driftwood, used in conjunction with a hand or bow drill to start fires. Also referred to as a "fire hearth." Fire boards are characterized by having one or more circular, charred depressions which mark the point of contact between the fire spindle and the board. See Fire Spindle.
Fire Spindle: ᓂᐅᕈᑖ: Niurutaa: Tige d'allumage
A slender, wooden shaft with blunted ends. Similar to a drill spindle, but distinguished by having a charred, rounded tip. See Fire Board, Bow Drill.
Fish Hook: ᖃᕐᔪᖅᓴᖅ: Qarjuqsaq: Hameçon
A hook fashioned of metal or bone that is used to catch fish through holes cut in the lake ice.
Fish Lure: ᐃᖃᓘᔭᖅ/ᓂᕿᑕᖅ: Iqaluujaq/niqitaq: Appât pour la pêche
A small carved bone or ivory model of a fish, suspended on a string and used to attract fish.
Fish Spear: ᓇᐅᓕᖕᓂᐅᑦ: Naulingniut: Lance à poisson
A spear used to catch fish. Typically consists of shaft tipped with a multi-barbed bone or antler point. Compare to Leister.
Fish Trap: ᖃᒡᒋᖅ: qaggiq: Piège à poisson
A stone enclosure constructed to trap migrating fish (primarily arctic char). See Weir.
Flagging Tape: ᐊᐅᑉᐸᕆᒃᑐᖅ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑕᖅ: Auppariktuq nalunaikkutaq: Ruban marqueur
A brightly-coloured, plastic tape used to mark the locations of surface artifacts or features.
Flake: ᐅᓪᓚᑯ: Ullaku: Éclat
A fragment of rock detached from a core or another flake as a result of pressure or percussion flaking.
Flaker: ᐊᕕᒃᓯᔾᔪᑦ: Aviksijjut: Silex de dégrossissage par éclats
A tapered, pointed bone or antler tool used to shape stone tools by removing flakes.
Flake Tool: ᐊᑐᖅᑐᒃᓴᖅ: atuqtuksaq: Outil d'éclats
A tool made from a stone flake removed from a core.
Flexed Burial: ᐃᕿᑎᓯᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓗᕕᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᑦ: Iqitisimallutik iluviqtaunikut: Enterrement replié
A burial in which the body has been placed on its side with the arms and legs bent.
Flint: ᑯᑭᒃᓴᖅ/ᐊᖕᒫᖅ: Kukiksaq/angmaaq: Silex
A type of cryptocrystalline (i.e. extremely fine-grained) quartz formed in chalk deposits. Flint is chemically and structurally the same as chert, but is often distinguished from the latter due to its occurrence within chalk deposits and by its association with the Old World. See Chert.
Float: ᐊᕙᑕᖅ: Avataq: Flotteur fait de phoque
An inflated sealskin attached to the harpoon line. The avataq acts as a drag to tire out a harpooned animal, marks its location, and prevents it from sinking.
Float Inflator: ᐅᐊᖅᑕᖅ: Uaqtaq: Bonde
A spool-shaped piece of bone or ivory with a hole through the middle. The inflator is inserted into the avataq and serves as a mouthpiece to inflate the float. Once inflated, a bone or wood peg is used to plug the hole.
Flora: ᐱᕈᖅᑐᑦ: Piquqtuq: Flore
Latin term referring to plants. Compare to Fauna.
Flotation: ᐳᒃᑕᓪᓚᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Puktallaqtittiniq: Flottation
A technique used to recover minute archaeological remains. Excavated sediments are immersed in water and items such as seeds, charcoal fragments, fish scales, etc., float to the surface and are skimmed off for analysis.
Foragers: ᐆᒪᔪᕋᓱᒃᑎᑦ/ᐊᖑᓇᓱᒃᑎᑦ/ (ᓂᕿᒃᓴᖅᓯᐅᖅᑎᑦ): Uumajurasuktit/angunasuktit/ (niqiksaqsiuqtit): Collecteurs
Peoples whose subsistence is based on the harvesting of naturally occurring wildlife resources (e.g. plants, animals, fish). They do not cultivate crops or breed animals for food. They used to be called "Hunter-Gatherers."
Foreshaft: ᐃᐱᖅ: Ipiq: Pré-hampe
Part of a harpoon. A shaft of bone, antler, or ivory, usually between 10 and 30 cm in length. The base of the foreshaft fits into the foreshaft socket, and a harpoon head is fitted on the tip.
Foreshaft Socket: ᕿᔪᒃᓯᕐᕕᒃ: Qijuksirvik: Cavité de la pré-hampe
Part of a harpoon. A short bone shaft attached to the end of the harpoon shaft. A hole is drilled into the end of the socket, into which fits the base of the foreshaft.
Formation Processes: ᓴᓇᔭᐅᓂᖓᓂᑦ ᒫᓐᓇᒧᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖅ: Sanajauninganit maannamut asijjiqpallianiq: Processus de formation
Natural events or human behaviours that create or modify the archaeological record. Both categories include numerous agents of change, and may contribute to the preservation as well as destruction of the archaeological record. The effects of wind, sunlight, floods, earthquakes, acidic soil, burrowing animals, bacteria, etc., constitute natural formation process. Human behaviours not only create the archaeological record, but alter or destroy it by reusing and recycling materials, by looting archaeological sites, and by carrying out various development activities, including construction and agriculture.
Functional Type: ᑭᓱᒧᑦ ᐊᑑᑎᖃᕋᓱᒋᔭᐅᔪᖅ: Kisumut atuutiqarasugijaujuq: Type fonctionnel
A system of artifact classification in which specimens are assigned to categories based on their known or inferred functions or uses (e.g. burin, harpoon head, side-scraper).
Geoarchaeology: ᓄᓇᒥ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Nunami qaujisarniq: Géo-archéologie
A branch of archaeological research which utilizes the concepts and methods of the earth sciences (e.g. geology, geography, paleontology and pedology) to reconstruct the past. Several key archaeological concepts, including stratigraphy, have been borrowed directly from the earth sciences.
Geographic Positioning System: ᑕᒻᒪᕇᒃᑯᑦ: Tammariikkut: Système de positionnement géographique (SPG)
A navigational device that uses satellites to determine the location of a place on the surface of the earth. Usually abbreviated as "GPS." Archaeologists use geographic positioning systems to record the locations of archaeological sites while conducting surveying, as well as when mapping archaeological sites.
Geographic Information System: ᓄᓇᙳᐊᓕᐅᕈᑦ: Nunanngualiurut: Système d'information géographique (SIG)
A type of computer program specially designed to analyze geographical data. Usually abbreviated as "GIS." Archaeologists use a GIS program to create and analyze spatial distributions of archaeological sites, features and related data.
Geology: ᓄᓇᓕᕆᓂᖅ: Nunaliriniq: Géologie
The scientific discipline concerned with the study of the earth. Includes the study of rocks and minerals, and the various processes that have shaped the earth over time.
Graphite: ᐸᐅᖅ: Pauq: Graphite
A black and extremely soft form of carbon. Small lumps of graphite are often found in Arctic archaeological sites, although what it was used for is uncertain.
Grave Goods: ᐃᓗᕕᕐᒥᐅᑕᐃᑦ: Iluvirmiutait: Présents funéraires
Items placed with the deceased at the time of burial. They may consist of tools and weapons that were personal possessions of the deceased, or ones that they are thought to require in the afterlife. Food was a common type of grave good. See Burial.
Grave Marker: ᐃᓗᕕᐅᑉ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑕᖓ: Iliuviup nalunaikkutanga: Repère funéraire
Any object (e.g. cairn, headstone, sign) used to identify the existence of a grave site or cemetery.
Grave Site: ᐃᓗᕕᖃᕐᕕᒃ: Iluviqarvik: Site funéraire
A place (i.e. a location or feature) where the remains of the dead are placed.
Ground Stone: ᐊᒋᐅᔾᔨᕕᒃ: Agiujjivik: Pierre polie
A technique of artifact manufacture in which stone artifacts are shaped or sharpened by grinding against an abrasive material, usually a hard rock. Arctic archaeological sites often contain ground and polished slate lance tips and knives.
Hafting: ᓂᒥᖅᓯᓂᖅ: Nimiqsiniq: Emmancher
The process of attaching a sideblade, end blade or other part of a tool to a shaft or handle. Hafting can be accomplished using a variety of techniques including the insertion of blades into slots or grooves, tying or lashing points to the end of a shaft, or through the use of glue or rivets.
Half-life: ᕼᐋᕝ ᓚᐃᕝ: Haaf laif: Demi-vie
The time required for one half of the atoms in a given amount of radioactive substance to decay. The half-life of radioactive carbon (C14) is approximately 5,730 years. See Radiometric Dating.
Hammerstone: ᐅᔭᕋᑦᑎᐊᖅ: Ujarattiaq: Percuteur
A typically round to oval cobble used to remove stone flakes from a core. See Percussion Flaking.
Harness Clasp: ᓴᓐᓂᕉᔭᖅ: Sanniruujaq: Harnais
A bone or ivory clasp used to attach the dog trace (line) to the harness.
Harpoon: ᐅᓈᖅ: Unaaq: Harpon
A complex tool used by many hunting cultures throughout the world. In the Arctic, harpoons are used primarily to hunt sea mammals. Harpoons were either thrown at or thrust into an animal, and have four basic components: the shaft, foreshaft, line, and head.
Harpoon Head: ᓴᒃᑯ/ᑑᒃᑲᖅ: Sakku/tuukkaq: Tête d'harpon
A device that forms part of a harpoon used in the hunting of marine mammals. The harpoon head is a pointed object attached to the end of the foreshaft, and is designed to pierce and hook into the skin and flesh of an animal (e.g. seal) to prevent it from escaping.
Historic Archaeology: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᖅ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᖃᓕᓚᐅᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ: Ittarnisaliriniq tititrausiqalilauqtillugu: Archéologie historique
Archaeological research that focuses on historically documented cultures.
Historical Resources Act (1990): ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᕆᔭᐅᕙᖕᓂᑯᓄᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕈᑎᒃᓴᓄᑦ ᒪᓕᒐᖅ: Iliqkusirijauvangnikunut qaujisarutiksanut maligaq: Loi sur le patrimoine historique
Territorial legislation designed to protect and/or commemorate cultural resources of historical significance in the Northwest Territories. Implemented by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories and the Northwest Territories Historical Advisory Board.
History: ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᑎᑎᖅᑲᑎᒍᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᓕᐅᖅᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᑯᓂᒃ: Qaujisarniq titiqqatigut qanuiliuqtauqattarnikunik: Histoire
The study of past events using written sources or other recorded forms of information.
Holocene: ᕼᐋᓗᓰᓐ: Haalusiin: Holocène
A geologic time period that begins at the end of the Pleistocene (last Ice Age) around 10,000 years ago.
Human Remains: ᑎᒥᕕᓂᖅ: Timiviniq: Restes humains
Any trace of human bodies recovered from an archaeological site.
Ice Pick: ᑑᖅ: Tuuq: Pic à glace
Part of a harpoon. A short, pointed shaft, usually of ivory, attached to the base of a harpoon shaft. The pick was used to make holes in the ice.
Ideology: ᐃᓱᒪᖃᕐᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᒃᐱᕆᔭᖃᕐᓂᒃᑯᓪᓗ ᐃᓅᓯᖃᕐᓂᖅ: Isumaqarnikkut ukpirijaqarnikkullu inuusiqarniq: Idéologie
A society's system of knowledge and beliefs that develops over time, and that governs their behaviour.
Incised: ᐃᑎᖅᓴᓕᐊᕆᓯᒪᔪᑦ: Itiqsaliarisimajuq: Gravé(e)
Refers to lines or shapes cut in the surface of an object, usually for decorative purposes.
Informant: ᐅᓐᓂᖅᑐᖅ: unniqtuq: Informateur, informatrice
An individual from whom an anthropologist obtains information about the way of life of that individual's culture.
Inorganic: ᐃᓅᓯᖃᙱᑦᑐᑦ: Inuusiqanngittut: Inorganique
Term used to refer to materials (e.g. rocks, minerals) that are not part of the animal or vegetable kingdoms. See Organic.
Inuit Heritage Trust: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓇᐅᑦᑎᖅᓱᖅᑎ: Inuit piqutinginnik nauttiqsuqti: Fond du patrimoine Inuit (FPI)
An organization established by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated under Article 33 of the Nunavut Final Agreement. The Trust works with government and community agencies on matters related to the management and protection of archaeological and ethnographic resources within the Nunavut Settlement Area.
Inuit Owned Lands: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓄᓇᖁᑎᖏᑦ: Inuit nunaqutingit: Terres possédées par les Inuits
Lands in the Nunavut Settlement Area to which Inuit hold surface and/or subsurface title under the terms of the Nunavut Final Agreement. In the Nunavut Settlement Area, Inuit hold title to 355,968 square kilometres of land.
Inukshuk: ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ/ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒐᖅ: Inuksuk/inuksugaq: Inukshuk
A type of archaeological feature consisting of rocks piled in the shape of, or to indicate, a human form. Inuksuit are a common feature on the land, assume many forms and sizes, and serve a variety of different purposes. See Cairn.
In Situ: ᓇᓃᓐᓂᖓ: Naniinninga: Sur place
A Latin term ("in place") that refers to the location (or position) of archaeological materials when first discovered or uncovered. Once an artifact has been moved it is no longer in situ, resulting in the loss of much information if proper records have not been kept.
Kill Site: ᐊᖑᕝᕕᒃ: Anguvvik: Lieu d'abattage
Kill sites are places where one or more animals are killed, and where the carcass is often partially butchered for transport. Kill sites typically contain bones and broken or discarded butchering tools.
Knapper: ᐅᔭᖅᑲᓂᒃ ᓴᓇᕐᕈᑎᓕᐅᖅᑎ: Ujaqqanik sanarrutiliuqti: Casseur de pierres
A term used to refer to a person who manufactures stone tools, for example, "flintknapper."
Lance: ᐊᖑᕕᒐᖅ, ᐃᐳᑐᔪᖅ, ᓇᐅᒃᑯᑦ, ᓇᐅᓕᖕᓂᐅᑦ: Anguvigaq, iputujuq, naukkut, nalingniut: Lance
A thrusting weapon used to kill larger sea mammals after they had been harpooned, and caribou at river crossings. The lance, or spear, consists of a shaft, (similar to a harpoon shaft) with an attached lance head. The lance head has a stone or metal blade inserted in the tip.
Lamp Platform/Support: ᐱᑐᐊᖅ (ᑐᓄᓪᓕᓴᖅ, ᓴᓪᓕᓴᖅ): Pituaq (tunullisaq, sallisaq): Support à lampe
Two or three flat, upright rocks positioned to support a soapstone lamp (qulliq). A common feature of food preparation and cooking areas of Thule winter houses.
Lamp Drip Pot: ᐊᓇᕐᕕᐅᑦ/ᐃᕐᖓᐅᑦ: Anarviut/irngaut: Récupérateur de graisse
A soapstone vessel used both to support the qulliq and to catch oil dripping from the lamp.
Lashing: ᓂᒥᖅ: Nimiq: Attache
Material used to secure an open-socket harpoon head to the foreshaft. Sinew and baleen were commonly used for lashing.
Lashing Holes: ᓂᒥᕐᕕᒃ: Nimirvik: Trous d'attache
Holes drilled on either side of a harpoon head socket, through which the lashing is passed.
Lashing Slots: ᓂᒥᕐᕕᒃ: Nimirvik: Fentes d'attache
Narrow slots cut or gouged on either side of a harpoon head socket, through which the lashing is passed.
Lashing Notches: ᓂᒥᕐᕕᒃ: Nimirvik: Encoches d'attache
Shallow notches cut into the edges of a harpoon head opposite the socket, around which the lashing is wound.
Leister: ᑲᑭᕙᒃ: Kakivak: Foëne
A three-pronged fish spear. Consists of a shaft with a bone or iron prong fitted into one end, and two flexible side-barbs that pierce and hold the fish.
Level: ᖃᓕᕇᑦ: Qaliriit: Niveau, couche
A vertical subdivision of an excavation unit. See Arbitrary Level, Natural Level.
Level Bag: ᖃᓕᕇᓂᑦ ᐴᒃᓴᖅ: Qaliriinit puuksaq: Récipient à spécimens retrouvés par niveau d'excavation
A paper or plastic bag containing archaeological specimens recovered from a single level within an excavation unit. The specimens are bagged individually and then grouped according to category or type (e.g. faunal remains, lithic debitage, soil samples).
Level Notes: ᖃᓕᕇᓂᑦ ᓇᒡᕚᖅᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ: Qaliriinik navvaaqtaujut titiraqtauningit: Registre des découvertes par niveau d'excavation
The detailed, written record of the findings in each excavation level.
Lichenometry: ᖁᐊᔭᐅᑎᑎᒍᑦ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓂᖅ: Quajautitigut arraagunik qaujiniq: Lichénométrie
A technique borrowed from the geological sciences and used to estimate the age of surface archaeological features (e.g. caches, tent rings), usually those constructed of rock. The technique is based on the relationship between the size of the lichen body (thallus) and its age as determined through independent analysis (i.e. radiocarbon dating).
Line Hole: ᐃᔾᔨᕐᕕᒃ: Ijjirvik: Canal de ligne
A hole drilled or gouged through a harpoon head. The harpoon line, used to retrieve the harpooned animal, passes through the line hole.
Line Level: ᓇᓕᕋᐃᑦᑐᖅ: Naliraittuq: Niveau à ligne
A small device used to record the depth below datum of an archaeological specimen. The level is suspended from a string attached to a datum stake, and the string is moved up or down until it is level. The depth below datum is then measured using a stadia rod or measuring tape. See Transit.
Lintel Stone: ᐅᒃᑲᖅ: Ukkaq: Linteau de pierre
A rectangular stone placed horizontally over the entrance (door) of a sod house. A common feature of Thule culture winter houses. See Threshold Stone.
Lithic: ᐅᔭᕋᒃ: Ujarak: Lithique
Term used to refer to objects manufactured from or related to stone (e.g. lithic assemblage, Palaeolithic age).
Looting: ᑎᒍᓇᖕᓂᖅ: Tigunangniq: Pillage
Unauthorized removal of artifacts or other archaeological materials from a site. See Pothunting.
Material Culture: ᓴᓇᐅᒃᑲᑦ: Sanaukkat: Culture matérielle
Generic term used to refer to the wide variety of objects produced by human societies through the transmission between generations of knowledge and skills.
Matrix: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᐊᒡᒐᒡᕕᐅᔫᑉ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᓐᓂᖓ: Nunaup aggagviujuup ajjigiinnginninga: Gangue
The material or substance containing or covering archaeological sites or specimens. Typical matrices encountered include soil, sand, peat, clay and gravel. See Overburden.
Meat Fork: ᐆᖓᖏᐅᑦ: Uungangiut: Fourchette à viande
A pointed piece of bone or antler used to remove boiled meat from a pot.
Microblade: ᓴᕕᕉᑦ: Saviruut: Micro-lame
A long, thin and narrow stone flake that is produced using a specially prepared core. Microblades were produced by the cultures of the Palaeo-Eskimo tradition. See Blade.
Microwear: ᐊᑑᑎᕕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᔾᔪᑎᑦ: Atuutivinirmik qaujijjutit: Micro-usure
Microscopic patterns of damage (e.g. polishing, scratching, chipping) on the edges of stone tools produced during their use. Different types of materials (e.g. bone, wood, skin) leave distinctive wear patterns that permit archaeologists to determine how the tools were used. See Use-Wear Analysis.
Midden: ᐊᒃᑕᕐᕕᒃ: Aktarvik: Débris
Term used by archaeologists to refer to a refuse (garbage) deposit. Middens contain the discarded products of human activities (e.g. broken tools, pottery, food waste, animal bones, etc.). Middens may take the form of large mounds of refuse that have accumulated over time in one or more areas of a site set aside specifically for waste disposal, or they may be found as smaller accumulations of materials in or near house ruins. See Secondary Refuse.
Mitigation: ᓱᕋᒃᑕᐅᑦᑕᐃᓕᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ ᐱᑐᖃᖃᕐᕕᖕᓂᒃ: Suraktauttailitittiniq pituqavinirnik: Mesure d'atténuation
Planned measures taken by archaeologists and government agencies to minimize the destruction of archaeological sites threatened by various forms of development (e.g. construction projects).
Minimum Number of Individuals: ᐊᙳᑕᕕᓃᑦ ᖃᔅᓯᐅᓂᖏᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᔭᐅᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏ: Anngutaviniit qassiuningit qaujijaujunnarningit: Nombre minimum d'individus (NMI)
Usually abbreviated as "MNI." A method employed in faunal analysis to quantify the relative abundance of individual species represented in a faunal assemblage. The term refers to the minimum number of individuals (e.g. animals, birds, fish) of a given species necessary to account for the number of identified bones in a faunal assemblage. See Number of Identified Specimens.
Morphological Type: ᑕᐅᑦᑐᖓᒍᑦ ᐃᓚᒌᒃᓱᐃᓂᖅ: Tauttungagut ilagiiksuiniq: Type morphologique
A descriptive system of artifact classification defined on the basis of the size, shape, colour, etc., of a specimen.
Moveable Foreshaft: ᖄᑎᓕᒃ (ᑯᓂᖕᓂᓕᒃ ᓂᒻᒥᐊᓕᒃ): Qaatilik (kuningnilik nimmialik): Pré-hampe détachable
A foreshaft having a tapered and rounded end that fits into the foreshaft socket, which acts like a ball and socket joint. On impact, the foreshaft moves and facilitates the release of the harpoon head.
Natural Level: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᑲᑎᙵᐅᕐᓂᖓ: Nunaup katinngaurninga: Couche naturelle
A vertical subdivision of a stratified (layered) excavation unit. Each stratum or "level' has attributes (e.g. colour, composition,) that visually distinguish it from adjacent layers, and allow archaeologists to excavate and analyze the contents of each layer individually. See Arbitrary Level.
Needlecase: ᑲᒃᐱᒃ: Kakpik: Étui à aiguilles
A bone or ivory tube for sewing needles. Needlecases are often beautifully carved, have flared edges and incised decoration.
Neo-Eskimo tradition: ᓯᕗᓪᓕᕕᓂᖅᐳᑦ: Sivulliviniqput: Tradition néo-esquimaude
The way of life of the ancestral Eskimo and Inuit cultures of Arctic North America and Greenland. The Neo-Eskimo tradition was introduced to the Eastern Arctic by people of the Thule culture who migrated eastward from Alaska circa AD 1000. The tradition dates in most areas from approximately AD 1000/AD 1600, or up to the time of contact with Euro-Americans. The Neo-Eskimo tradition was characterized by its broad inventory of tools and weapons, the use of ground (rather than chipped) stone tools, and an economy based on the harvesting of marine mammals, particularly the large bowhead whales.
Northwest Territories Act (1978): ᓄᓇᑦᑎᐊᕐᒥ ᒪᓕᒐᕐᔪᐊᖏᑦᑕ ᒪᓕᒐᖓᑦ: Nunattiarmi maligarjuangitta maligangat: Loi sur les Territoires-du-Nord-Ouest
Federal legislation describing the powers and functions of the Government of the Northwest Territories concerning the management and protection of archaeological sites in the Northwest Territories.
Number of Identified Specimens: ᓂᕐᔪᑏᑦ ᓴᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓈᓴᐃᓂᖅ: Nirjutiit sauninginnik naasainiq: Nombre de spécimens identifiés (NSI)
Usually abbreviated as "NISP." A method employed in faunal analysis to quantify the relative abundance of individual species represented in a faunal assemblage. The NISP is a basic way of comparing species abundance, and is simply the number of identified bones (specimens) per species in a faunal assemblage. To determine the NISP, bones in a faunal assemblage are sorted by species and counted. See Faunal Analysis, Minimum Number of Individuals.
Open Socket: ᑑᕐᕕᒃ: Tuurvik: Cavité articulaire ouverte
A rectangular slot or notch cut into the ventral face of the proximal end of a harpoon head. In plan view, the interior of the socket is visible. See Foreshaft.
Oral History: ᐅᓂᒃᑲᐅᓯᒃᑯᑦ ᑐᓴᐅᒪᓂᖅ: Unikkausikkut tusaumaniq: Histoire orale
The history of a culture or society that is passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth.
Organic: ᐱᕈᕈᓐᓇᖅᑐᓕᒫᑦ: Pirurunnaqtulimaat: Organique
An archaeological specimen composed of parts of plants or animals. Organic remains are subject to decay over time. Bone, wood, ivory, skin, baleen and antler are examples of organic materials. Slate, quartz and chert are examples of inorganic materials.
Osteologist: ᓴᐅᓂᑐᖃᓕᕆᔨ: Saunituqaliriji: Ostéologue
An individual who studies bones.
Outcrop: ᓴᖅᑭᔮᖅᑐᑦ ᐅᔭᖅᑲᑦ: Saqqijaaqtut ujaqqat: Affleurement
An exposed layer or layers of rock. Chert outcrops, for example, were important sources of raw material for prehistoric groups. See Quarry Site.
Overburden: ᖃᓪᓕᐅᓯᒪᔪᖅ: Qalliusimajuq: Couverture
Generic term that refers to the material(s) overlying an archaeological deposit. Vegetation, soil, rock, gravel, sand, and peat are common types of overburdens. See Matrix.
Palaeodemography: ᐃᓄᕕᓃᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᕆᓚᐅᖅᑕᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Inuviniit qanuippallianirilauqtanginnik qaujisarniq: Paléo-démographie
The science of reconstructing the characteristics of past human populations (mortality, disease, age, sex ration). See Bioarchaeology.
Paleo-Eskimo tradition: ᐃᓄᕐᖓᐅᑏᑦ: Inurngautiit: Tradition paléo-esquimaude
The way of life of the original inhabitants of Arctic North America and Greenland. The Independence, Sarqaq, Pre-Dorset and Dorset cultures all belong to the Eastern Arctic Paleo-Eskimo tradition, which dates in most areas from circa 4000 BC to AD 1000. The hallmark of the tradition is the use of small, chipped stone tools. The tradition shares a number of similarities with cultures of the Siberian Neolithic tradition from which it may have originally developed. See Arctic Small Tool tradition.
Paleontology: ᐅᔭᕋᒍᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Ujaraguqsimajunik qaujisarniq: Paléontologie
A branch of geology that specializes in the study of very ancient fossilized life forms.
Palynology: ᐱᕈᖅᑐᒃᓴᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Piruqtuksanik qaujisarniq: Palynologie
The study of microscopic fossil pollen grains recovered from archaeological sites. The size and shape of pollen grains vary between species, and palynology involves the counting of pollen grains in a sediment sample in order to estimate the relative abundance of individual plant species. Fluctuations in the abundance of species over time indicates changes in prehistoric environments brought about by natural (e.g. temperature, moisture) or cultural causes (deforestation), or a combination of both.
Patination: ᐱᑐᖃᐅᒧᑦ ᖃᑭᕐᓃᑦ: Pituqaumut qakirniit: Patine
A change over time in the colour or texture of the surface of artifacts as a result of natural weathering processes.
Paving Stone: ᓵᑦᑐᒐᖅ: Saattugaq: Dalle
Flat slabs of rock set close together to form the floor of a house entrance, living or storage space and sleeping platforms.
Pedology: ᐃᔾᔪᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Ijjurmik qaujisarniq: Pédologie
The scientific study of the origin, nature, properties and classification of soils. Because different types of soils form under different environmental conditions, pedology can be used to reconstruct past environments.
Pendant: ᐅᔭᒥᒃ/ᓂᕕᖓᑕᖅ: Ujamik/nivingataq: Pendentif
A carved ornament of bone, ivory or stone attached to a necklace, bracelet or clothing. Animal (fox, polar bear, walrus, caribou, seal) teeth are often found with holes drilled through one end for suspension. See Amulet.
Percussion Flaking: ᐅᓪᓕᐊᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ ᑲᓱᒃᑕᖅᖢᒍ: Ulliatittiniq kasuktaqlugu: Taille par percussion
A technique used in the manufacture of stone tools, in which stone flakes are removed by striking a core with a hard implement such as stone, antler, or bone. See Flaker.
Permafrost: ᓄᓇᐅᑉ ᕿᕿᓂᖓ: Nunaup qiqininga: Permafrost
Ground that is perennially frozen. Permafrost is found throughout Arctic North America and is the reason for the exceptionally good preservation of ancient organic artifacts. See Active Layer.
Petroglyphs: ᐃᑎᕐᓕᖅᑐᖅᓯᒪᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᓇᙳᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᖅ: Itirliqtuqsimalluni sanannguaqsimjuq: Pétroglyphe
Images carved in rock, thought to have spiritual significance.
Photomapping: ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓱᒃᑲᑦ: Ajjiliuqsimajut aaqqiksukkat: Cartographie photographique
A technique of recording archaeological information in which a grid is placed over an object or excavation area of interest and photographed to scale.
Pictograph: ᖃᐃᖅᓱᒃᑯᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ: qaiqsukkut titiraujaqsimajut: Inscription rupestre
Ancient paintings on rock, often on cave walls. Thought to have spiritual significance.
Plumb Bob: ᐆᒃᑐᕋᐅᑦ ᐃᑦᑕᖅᑯᑎᓕᒃ: Uukturaut ittaqqutilik: Plomb
A weight suspended from a string that is held directly above an artifact to ensure vertical accuracy when recording provenience.
Pothunting: ᑎᒍᓇᖕᓂᖅ: Tigunangniq: Saccage
The unauthorized (illegal) removal of artifacts or related materials from archaeological sites. See Looting.
Potsherd: ᐅᒃᑯᓯᕕᓂᐅᑉ ᐅᓪᓚᐅᑯᐊ: Ukkusiviniup ullaukua: Tesson
A fragment of a broken earthenware vessel or lamp. Pottery is rarely found in archaeological sites in Nunavut but has been recovered from several early Thule (ca. AD 1000/1200) sites.
Prehistoric Archaeology: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᖅ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᐅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᓂᒃ: Ittarnisaliriniq titirausiusimangittunik: Archéologie préhistorique
Archaeological research that focuses on the period of human history for which no written records exist.
Prehistoric Sites: ᓄᓇᑐᕐᓕᕕᓃᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᖃᖅᑳᖅᑎᓐᓇᒍ: Nunaturliviniit titirausiuqaqqaaqtinnagu: Site préhistorique
Places where people lived or carried out activities in the period before written records were kept.
Pressure Flaking: ᐅᓪᓕᐊᑎᕆᓂᖅ ᑲᓱᒃᑕᕐᓇᒍ: Ulliatiriniq kasuktarnagu: Taille par pression
A technique used in the manufacture of stone tools, in which thin stone flakes are removed by pressing the point of a bone or antler flaker against the edge of the stone tool being manufactured.
Primary Refuse: ᐃᒃᓯᓐᓇᑯᑦ: Iksinnagut: Rebut primaire
Refuse that has been left where it was produced. See Secondary Refuse.
Profile: ᓴᓂᕌᓂᑦ ᑕᐅᑦᑐᐊ: Saniraanit tauttua: Profil
A vertical exposure of the ground showing the depositional strata. Archaeological profiles are exposed in the walls of excavation units. See Natural Level.
Provenience: ᐆᒃᑐᕋᕐᕕᖕᒥᑦ ᐆᒃᑐᕋᐅᓯᖅ: Uukturarvingmit uukturausiq: Provenience
The horizontal and vertical position of an object (e.g. artifact or ecofact) recorded at the time of excavation. Horizontal provenience is obtained in relation to one or more datum points and the excavation grid. Vertical provenience is obtained in relation to an arbitrary datum plane established over the excavation area using a string and line-level.
Psychic Archaeology: ᐊᖓᒃᑰᔭᕐᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᖅ: Angakkuujarnikkut ittarnisaliriniq: Archéologie psychique
The use of parapsychological powers (e.g. Extra Sensory Perception) in the investigation of archaeological resources.
Public Archaeology: ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᖃᑕᐅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Kikkutuinnarnik ittarnisaliriqatautittiniq: Animation en archéologie
A subfield of archaeology focusing on increasing public awareness and education about archaeology as a means of managing and protecting archaeological resources.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᖃᕐᕕᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑕᑯᔭᒐᖃᕐᕕᒃ ᔭᓗᓇᐃᕝᒥᑦ: Ittarnisaqarviulluni takujagaqarvik Yellowknife-mit: Centre du patrimoine septentrional du Prince de Galles (CPSPG)
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is located in Yellowknife, and is the primary repository for the curation and display of archaeological specimens in the Northwest Territories.
Qamutik Clasp: ᓴᓐᓂᕆᐊᖅ: Sanniriaq: Pièce d'attache des traits
A bone or ivory clasp used to connect the ends of the thong to which the dogs are connected to the qamutiq.
Quarry: ᐅᔭᕋᒃᑕᕐᕕᒃ: Ujaraktarvik: Carrière
A location from which stone is extracted for the manufacture of tools and weapons. Prehistoric soapstone and chert quarries are found in Nunavut.
Quartz: ᐊᓕᒍᖅ: Aliguq: Quartz
A type of hard, clear, glassy rock formed of essentially pure silicon dioxide (SiO2). Quartz forms prismatic crystals that were often used as raw material for the manufacture of stone tools.
Quartzite: ᑐᓐᓅᔭᖅ: Tunnuujaq: Quartzite
A type of rock consisting of metamorphosed (transformed by heat and pressure) sandstone. Quartzite was used as a raw material for stone tool manufacture, although it is more difficult to work than other types of stone and often yields crude-looking tools.
Radiocarbon Year: ᐊᕐᔭᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓯᐊᖅᑕᐅᔪᖅ: Arjanikkut arraagusiaqtaujuq: Année(s) radiocarbone
A unit of elapsed time based on the rate of decay of radioactive carbon. Dates obtained on archaeological materials using the Carbon-14 method are in radiocarbon years, which are not exactly the same as calendar years. As a result, radiocarbon dates must be converted or "calibrated" into calendar years. See Calibrated Date.
Radiometric Dating: ᐆᒪᓂᖅᑎᒍᑦ ᓄᑖᐅᖏᓐᓂᖅᓯᐅᖅᑕᐅᓂᖅ: Uumaniqtigut nutaunnginniqsiuqtauniq: Datation radiométrique
Any of several techniques for archaeological dating based on the constant rate of decay of radioactive isotopes. Dates produced by all radiometric dating methods are estimates that contain a degree of error known as a standard deviation. As a result, these techniques estimate a range of time within which the event took place (e.g. 550 ± 65 radiocarbon years B.P.).
Raw Material: ᓱᕐᕇᑦᑐᖅ: Surriittuq: Matière première
Term used to describe the substance from which an artifact is made (e.g. bone, ivory, antler, wood, skin, etc.).
Reburial: ᐃᓗᕕᕐᒦᓐᓂᑯᑦ ᐅᑎᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ: Iluvirmiinnikut utiqtitauningit: Ré-enterrement
The placing of human remains and their associated grave goods in their original grave site after they have been excavated or moved.
Refitting: ᐃᕕᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Iviqtittiniq: Réassemblage
The process of refitting pieces of broken artifacts. Typically done with pottery fragments (sherds), but archaeologists can also refit stone flakes from a single core, or the fragments of single bone. By doing so, archaeologists obtain valuable information about past human behaviours.
Relative Date: ᒥᒃᓴᐅᓴᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᖅ: Miksausaktausimajuq: Date relative
An estimate of the age of an archaeological site or feature relative to another site or feature.
Relative Dating Methods: ᒥᒃᓴᐅᓴᐃᓂᖅ: Miksausainiq: Méthodes relatives de datation
A method of dating archaeological remains that tells you only whether an object, component or site is older than, younger than, or the same age as something else. Relative dates do not, however, indicate how much older or younger an object or site is. The most common technique of relative dating is stratigraphy. Compare Absolute Date.
Relocation: ᓄᒃᑎᖅᑕᐅᓂᖅ: Nuktiqtauniq: Déterrement et réenterrement
The placing of human remains and their associated grave goods in a grave site other than their original.
Remote Sensing: ᓇᔫᑎᓇᓂ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᖅ: Najuutinani qaujinasungniq: Identification à distance
A site survey technique in which observations are made from a distance. Photographs taken from aircraft or satellites for the purpose of identifying archaeological sites are a form of remote sensing.
Repatriate: ᐅᑎᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Utiqtittiniq: Rapatrier
To return a thing to its place of origin. In archaeology, to return artifacts, human remains and other cultural specimens to their country of origin or to the descendants of the people whose culture they represent.
Research Design: ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᐸᕐᓇᖕᓂᖅ: Ittarnisaliriniarluni parnangniq: Plan de recherche
The overall plan for an archaeological research project. A research design identifies the problem of interest, the investigator's hypotheses that will be tested, and the data required from field research to evaluate the hypotheses.
Retouch: ᐃᐱᒃᓴᐃᓂᖅ: Ipiksainiq: Retouche
A general term that refers to the removal of flakes from the surface or edges of stone cores or flakes. This may be the final stage in producing a stone tool or it may be done to resharpen a tool that has become dull.
Rivet: ᐸᐅᒍᐊᖅ: Pauguaq: Rivet
A small bone or ivory pin used to attach an end blade to the tip of a harpoon head.
Sacred Site: ᑐᓂᓪᓚᕐᕕᒃ: Tunillarvik: Site sacré
A site or place having religious, spiritual or ideological significance, and which is reserved for special activities.
Scale (Map): ᓯᕕᑐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐆᒃᑐᕋᐅᑎ: Sivitunirmut uukturauti: Échelle (carte à)
A map scale refers to the ratio of the distance between two points on a map, and the same two points on the ground. For example, a map with a scale of 1:50,000 means that a distance of 1 centimetre between two points on the map is equal to a distance of 50,000 centimetres (or 0.5 kilometres) on the ground.
Scraper: ᓰᕐᓕᕆᔭᐅᑦ/ᓴᑰᑦ/ᑕᓯᐅᒃᑎᕈᑦ/ᓴᓕᒎᑦ/ᖃᓘᑦ: Siirlirijaut/sakuut/tasiuktirut/saliguut/qaluut: Grattoir
A type of tool used in the manufacture of skin, bone or wood tools, or the processing of other materials (e.g. skin). Chipped-stone scrapers are distinguished by one or more edges having a steep unifacial retouch. Bone scrapers used to prepare or clean skins were often made from the scapula of the bull caribou.
Screening: ᑲᕐᖔᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ: Qarngaatittiniq: Criblage
A field technique in which the excavated matrix (soil, gravel, etc.) is passed through a screen before being removed to the backdirt pile. Screening is done to maximize data recovery and to ensure that small artifacts or ecofacts are not overlooked. A common screen mesh size is 6 mm (1/4"). See Excavation.
Seasonal Round: ᐊᐅᓛᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ (ᐅᐱᕐᖏᓂᖅ-ᐅᐱᕐᖏᕕᒃ/ᐊᐅᔨᔪᑦ/ᐅᑭᐊᓪᓕᔪᑦ/ᐅᑮᔪᑦ-ᐅᑮᕕᒃ): Aulaaqattarniq (upirnginiq/upirngivik/aujivik/ukiallijut/ukiijut-ukiivik): Cycle saisonnier
The yearly cycle of movement amongst foragers from one settlement to another for the purpose of harvesting spatially and temporally variable wildlife resources. See Settlement System.
Seasonality: ᖃᖓᒃᑯᑦ ᓇᔪᖅᑕᐅᓂᕕᓂᖓ: Qangakkut najuqtaunivininga: Saisonnier, saisonnière
Refers to the season(s) during which a site was occupied. Site seasonality can be reconstructed using a wide variety of data, including house and artifact types, and the analysis of animal bones and plant remains.
Secondary Refuse: ᐊᒃᑕᑦ: Aktat: Rebut secondaire
Refuse that has been removed from the location where it was produced and then redeposited elsewhere, for example, in a midden. See Primary Refuse.
Semi-subterranean: ᐃᓗᕙᓯᒃᑐᖅ: Iluvasiktuq: Semi-souterrain(e)
A feature constructed partially underground. Thule culture winter houses are semi-subterranean.
Settlement: ᓄᓇᓖᑦ: Nunaliit: Habitat
A location where members of a community reside for a specific purpose and period of time.
Settlement System: ᓄᓇᓖᑦ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᑦ/ᐱᐅᓯᖏᑦ: Nunaliit iliqqusingit/piusingit: Système de peuplement
The complete set of settlements used by a community throughout the course of an annual cycle.
Shards: ᓯᖁᒻᒪᐃᑦ: Siqummait: Tesson
Individual fragments of a broken vessel, usually pottery.
Sideblade: ᑮᓐᓂᕐᕕᒃ: Kiinnirvik: Lame d'insertion latérale
A stone tool designed to be hafted into a slot or groove to form a cutting edge. Sideblades are used on tools such as harpoon and lance heads.
Sinew: ᐅᓕᐅᑦ ᐃᕙᓗ: Uliut ivalu: Tendon
Animal (e.g. caribou) tendon that can be braided to make cord or thread.
Site: ᐃᓄᖕᓄᑦ ᓇᔪᖅᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᕕᓃᑦ: Inungnut najuqtauqattaqtuviniit: Site
Any place where evidence of human activity exists.
Site Plan: ᓇᔪᖅᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᓃᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᓯᒪᓂᖓ: Najuqtauqattaqsimaniit titiraujaqsimaninga: Plan du site
A small-scale map of an archaeological site showing the positions of all features and artifacts.
Site Survey: ᓇᔪᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᓂᒃ ᕿᓂᕐᓂᖅ: Najuqtaunikunik qinirniq: Relevé du site
The systematic, on the ground search for archaeological sites in a specific area. Surveys involve the use of maps, air photographs, written and oral historical data, and may include the excavation of test pits. Information recorded through site surveys includes the geographical coordinates of a site, the number and type of features present, cultural affiliation(s) and local topography.
Slate: ᐅᓗᒃᓴᕐᓇᖅ: Uluksarnaq: Ardoise
A relatively soft, fine-grained and typically dark-coloured metamorphic rock that can be broken into thin plates and shaped by grinding into tools and weapons. Blades for ulus and harpoon heads were often manufactured from slate.
Sled Shoe: ᐱᕌᑦ: Pirraat: Protecteur (du patin de traîneau)
Pieces of bone, ivory or baleen lashed or riveted to the bottom of the qamutiq (sled) runners to protect them from damage.
Sleeping Platform: ᐃᒡᓕᖅ: Igliq: Plate-forme à coucher
A raised area of a dwelling used for sleeping. Sleeping platforms in winter houses are typically constructed of flat rocks placed 30 cm or more above the level of the house floor and covered with skins to form a bed.
Snow Goggles: ᐃᒡᒐ/ᐃᓪᓗᒌᑯᑎᑦ: Igga/illugiikutit: Lunettes contre l'éclat de la neige
Ivory or wood goggles designed to protect the eyes from sunlight reflected off of snow and ice. The goggles completely cover the eyes and have narrow viewing slits. Ivory snow goggles are often decorated.
Snow Knife: ᓴᕘᔭᖅ: Savuujaq: Couteau à neige
A bone or ivory knife with a thin, but wide and curved blade used for cutting blocks of snow for construction of an iglu or other snow shelter.
Snow Probe: ᐊᐳᑎᓯᐅᑦ: Aputisiut: Sonde à neige
A long, thin and typically curved bone shaft used to locate a seal's breathing hole.
Soapstone Lamp: ᖁᓪᓕᖅ: Qulliq: Lampe en stéatite
A shallow, semi-circular lamp carved from soapstone (steatite). These lamps burned seal oil rendered from blubber and used plant materials for wicks. See Wick Trimmer.
Soapstone Pot: ᐅᒃᑯᓯᒃ: Ukkusik: Pot en stéatite
A typically rectangular soapstone vessel used to boil meat. The pot has holes drilled near the lip at each corner and is suspended above a soapstone lamp when in use.
Socket: ᑑᕐᕕᒃ: Tuurvik: Cavité articulatoire
A hole or slot cut into the proximal (base) end of a harpoon head. The tip of the harpoon foreshaft fits into the socket. See Open Socket, Closed Socket.
Sod Layer: ᒥᖅᑲᐱᒃ: Miqqapik: Couvert végétal
The uppermost or top layer of the ground in places that are covered in vegetation. The sod layer consists of the vegetation and the roots.
Special Purpose Site: ᖃᓄᐃᓕᐅᕐᕖᑦ: Qanuiliurvik: Site avec affectation spécifique
A site that was occupied or used for one or a few activities or purposes (e.g. burial, navigation cairn).
Spur: ᐸᒥᐊᖅ: Pamiaq: Éperon
A tapered projection at the base of a harpoon head designed to catch and twist the head crosswise beneath the skin of an animal to prevent its escape. Some harpoon heads use a combination of barbs and spurs.
Stadia Rod: ᓱᖅᑳᖅᑕᐅᑦ: Suqqaaqtaut: Règle stadimétrique
A surveying instrument consisting of a shaft marked off in units of metres and centimetres, and used in conjunction with a transit to create a contour map of an archaeological site, or to record the vertical provenience of an artifact.
Stratification: ᖃᓕᕇᒃᑐᑦ: Qaliriiktut: Stratification
Refers to something that occurs in layers or strata. In archaeology, stratified sites have two or more layers of cultural deposits superimposed on one another.
Stratified: ᖃᓕᕇᒃᑐᑦ: Qaliriiktut: Stratifié(e)
See Stratification, Unstratified.
Stratigraphy: ᖃᓕᕇᖕᓂᖓᒍᑦ ᐱᑐᖃᐅᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ: Qaliriingningagut pituqauninganik qaujisarniq: Stratigraphie
A technique used to establish a cultural chronology. The analysis and interpretation of it is based on the stratification, or layering, of cultural and/or geological deposits, and the law of superposition, which states that a lower layer (stratum) is older than a higher layer.
Stratum: ᖃᓕᕇᖕᓂᐅᑉ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᕐᓂᖓ: Qaliriingniup ilaakkuurninga: Strate
Descriptive term used in reference to something occurring or found in a layer. Multiple layers are referred to as strata.
Strata: ᐃᓗᐃᒃᑲᖅ: Iluikkaq: Strates (pl.), strate (sing.)
The plural form of the word stratum. In archaeology, the term strata is used to refer to two or more layers. See Stratum, Level.
Striations: ᕿᐳᖅᑭᕐᓃᑦ: Qipuqqirniit: Striations
Microscopic scratches on stone or bone tools that are studied to understand the ways in which the tools were used. See Microwear.
Subsistence Economy: ᐃᓅᓇᓱᐊᕈᑎᑦ: Inuunasuarutit: Économie de subsistance
The methods by which a group of people obtain the food, shelter and clothing necessary to support life.
Surface Collecting: ᓴᖅᑭᔮᖅᑐᖅᑕᕐᓂᖅ: Saqqijaaqtuqtarniq: Collecte de surface
The recovery of artifacts and other archaeological remains found on the surface of the ground, without excavation.
Surface Scatter: ᓴᖅᑭᔮᖅᑐᒦᑦᑐᑦ: Saqqijaaqtumiittut: Débris de surface
A collection of artifacts or other archaeological materials distributed over the surface of the ground.
Taphonomy: ᐱᑐᖃᐃᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᓕᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᑕ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᖓ: Pituqait qauilivallianingita qaujisaqtauninga: Taphonomie
The study of the processes that affect the deposition of bones and other organic remains in archaeological sites.
Technology: ᓴᓇᕐᕈᑏᑦ ᐊᑑᑎᖏᑕᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᓂᖓ: Sanarrutiit atuutingitalu qaujimajauninga: Technologie
Human tools and knowledge of how to use them.
Temporal Type: ᓴᓐᓇᓯᖓᒍᑦ ᖃᖓᓕᓴᐅᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓂᖅ: Sannasingagut qangalisauninganik qaujiniq: Type temporel
A system of artifact classification based on stylistic change over time. Artifacts from a site of known age can be used to date other sites.
Tent Ring: ᑐᐱᕐᕕᒃ: tupirvik: Cercle de tente
A circular or oval arrangement of rocks once used to hold down the edges of a tent.
Test Pit: ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐊᖅᑳᖅᑕᖅ: Qaujigiaqqaaqtaq: Puits de sondage
A typically small, exploratory excavation done to confirm the existence of a site, or prior to extensive site excavation. Test pits reveal the depth and stratigraphy of a cultural deposit, and provide the archaeologist with a means of assessing the potential of the site for answering the research questions. See Excavation Unit, Site Survey.
Threshold Stone: ᒪᓄᐊᖅ/ᐊᓪᓗᕆᖅ: Manuaq (iglu/qarmaq) Alluriq (tent): Sommier
A stone, usually rectangular, set horizontally at the bottom of the entrance (door) to a dwelling. A common feature of Thule culture winter dwellings. See Lintel.
Throwing Board: ᐃᒋᒪᒃ: Igimak: Propulseur
A device used to increase the velocity with which a harpoon is thrown from a kayak. Usually made of wood, the board has a central groove in which the shaft of the harpoon rests, and separate grooves for the thumb and fingers which allow the shaft to be gripped firmly.
Thule Culture: ᓯᕗᓕᐊᕐᔪᒃᐳᑦ: Sivuliarjukput: Culture Thule
The name given by archaeologists to the biological and cultural ancestors of the Inuit. The name was first applied in 1927 by Danish archaeologist Therkel Mathiassen following a multi-year scientific research project conducted in the Canadian Arctic but from a base in Thule Greenland. The Thule migrated eastward from Alaska to Canada approximately 1000 years ago and are distinguished by their ability to hunt the large bowhead whales.
Tool Kit: ᓴᓇᕐᕈᑕᐅᓯᕝᕕᒃ: Sanarrutausivvik: Outillage
A combination of tools or other items used in specialized tasks such as hunting, butchering of animals, clothing manufacture, food preparation, etc.
Topographic Map: ᓄᓇᙳᐊᑦ ᐳᖅᑐᓂᖏᑕ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᒪᓂᖏᑦ: Nunannguat puqtuningita nalunaiqsimaningit: Carte topographique
A map that shows the elevation and shape of the surface of the terrain. Topographic maps are used by archaeologists to plot the distribution of archaeological sites and to relate the sites to the major features of the natural landscape. See Contour Map.
Trace Buckle: ᐅᖅᓯᖅ: Uqsiq: Boucle d'attelage
A device used to hitch individual dog traces (lines) to the thong or rope at the front of the qamotiq. Usually made of bone or ivory, the buckle has one small hole at the anterior end to which the trace is attached, and a larger hole used to connect the trace to the thong.
Transit: ᓱᖅᑳᖅᑕᐅᒻᒧᑦ ᕿᕐᖑᑦ: Suqqaaqtaummut qirngut: Tarchéomètre
A surveying instrument used to measure horizontal and vertical angles. Transits are used to map archaeological sites and to record artifact provenience with a stadia rod.
Trench: ᐃᑎᖅᓴᑯᑖᒃ: Itiqsakutaak: Tranchée
A rectangular excavation unit of variable size often used to determine the areal extent of a site or feature and to accurately record the site stratigraphy. See Excavation Unit.
Trowel: ᓴᒡᒐᐅᑦ: Saggaut: Truelle
A hand-tool with a triangular-shaped blade. Used by archaeologists during excavation to carefully scrape away layers of dirt or other materials covering a site or feature.
Tundra: ᓇᐹᖅᑐᖃᕈᓐᓇᙱᑦᑐᖅ: Napaaqtuqarunnanngittuq: Toundra
An Arctic or alpine vegetation zone characterized by dwarf shrubs, sedges, grasses and lichens, but devoid of trees. It is usually underlain by permafrost.
Type: ᖃᓄᐃᑦᑑᓂᖅ: Qanuittuuniq: Type
A technique of organizing and classifying artifacts into groups for analysis and interpretation, also known as typology. Artifacts having several attributes in common can be grouped into a type, suggesting that they were made or used in the same or similar ways. See Attribute.
Tow Buckle: ᐅᖅᓯᐊᖅ: Uqsiaq: Poignées de halage
A bone or ivory toggle attached via a thong to the lower jaw of the seal and used to drag the animal along the ice.
Tow Line: ᐅᓂᐅᑕᖅ: Uniutaq: Corde de halage
A sealskin line used to tow seals along the ice.
Ulu: ᐅᓗ (ᐳᑐᓕᒃ/ᑭᒪᓕᖅ/ᕿᑦᑎᕆᔾᔪᑦ): Ulu (putulik/kimaliq/qittirijjut): Ulu(s)
A multi-purpose woman's knife with a crescent-shaped blade of sharpened stone or metal and a handle of bone, ivory or wood.
Uncalibrated Date: ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓯᐊᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᖅ: Arraagusiaqtausimanngittuq: Date non calibrée
An estimated date for an archaeological site or specimen that has not been converted from radiocarbon years to calendar years. Sometimes referred to as an "uncorrected" or "unadjusted" date. See Calibrated Date.
Underwater Archaeology: ᑭᕕᖅᑲᔪᓂᒃ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᓕᕆᓂᖅ: Kiviqqajunik ittarnisaliriniq: Archéologie sous-marine
A specialized and expensive branch of archaeology focusing on the remains of shipwrecks and other submerged sites.
Unifacial Retouch: ᐃᒡᓗᐃᓐᓈᒍᑦ ᑮᓐᓇᓕᖕᒥᒃ ᑮᓐᓇᒃᓴᐃᓂᖅ: Igluinnaagut kiinnalingmik kiinnaksainiq: Retouche unifaciale
The removal of flakes from only one surface or "face" of a stone tool. See Bifacial Retouch.
Unstratified: ᐊᔾᔨᒌᖏᓐᓇᖅ: ajjigiinginnaq: Non stratifié(e)
Term used to refer to a site in which the matrix shows no visible evidence of layering or stratification.
Use-Wear Analysis: ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᔾᔪᓯᕕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᖅ: Atuqtaujjusivinirmik qaujinasungniq: Analyse des traces d'utilisation
The microscopic analysis of artifacts to detect signs of wear on their working edges. These studies are undertaken in order to understand how prehistoric tools were used. See Microwear.
Ventral: ᓵ: Saa: Ventral
The front or underside of an organism. See Dorsal.
Weathering: ᓯᓚᒧᑦ ᓄᖑᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᔭᖅ: Silamut nunguppalliajaq: Érosion
The alteration over time of archaeological materials through natural environmental processes. Objects exposed to the effects of sunlight, water and wind are transformed over time.
Weir: ᓴᐳᑎᑦ: Saputit: Barrage
A barrier constructed by piling rocks or wood across a stream for the purpose of trapping migrating fish.
Whetstone: ᑮᓐᓇᐅᑦ: Kiinnaut: Pierre à aiguiser
A hard stone that is used to sharpen ground stone tools (e.g. slate knives, harpoon end blades). Whetstones are often elongated and square in section, and have at least one very smooth, polished facet.
Wick Trimmer: ᑕᖅᑯᑦ: Taqqut: Mouchette
A wood stick used to adjust the height of the wick on an oil lamp to reduce the amount of smoke produced. The tip of the trimmer is usually bent slightly and heavily charred.
Wound Pin: ᑐᐳᑕᖅ: Tuputaq: Obturateur
A device used to close the wound created when a seal or other animal has been harpooned, in order to prevent the loss of the blood. Wound pins are typically made of ivory, have a sharp point, and are triangular or rhomboidal in cross-section.
Zooarchaeology: ᓂᕿᒋᔭᐅᕙᒃᑐᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᓴᐅᓂᖏᑦᑎᒍᑦ: Niqigijauvaktuvinirnik qaujisarniq sauningittigut: Zoo-archéologie
A general term referring to the specialized study of animal bones from archaeological sites. See Faunal Analysis.
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