The Arctic Institute Devon Island Expedition 1960


  • Spencer Apollonio



Animal collections, Aquatic insects, Artifacts, Biological sampling, Bones, Chironomidae, Dorset culture, Equipment and supplies, Expeditions, Inuit archaeology, Logistics, Measurement, Muskoxen, Plant collections, Portable buildings, Prefabrication, Research stations, Thule culture, Devon Island, Nunavut, Sparbo, Cape, region, Resolute, Skogn, Jones Sound region


The Arctic Institute of North America ... initiated the Devon Island Expedition 1960-1963, the objectives of which are: (1) A study of the relationships between the marine environment (Jones Sound), the Devon Island Ice Cap, and the atmosphere, with special regard to heat budget, energy flow, and moisture transfer. (2) A detailed investigation of the oceanography and marine biology of Jones Sound. (3) A detailed investigation of the archaeology, biology, and geology of Devon Island, together with other studies that may provide auxiliary information for objective (1). The main purpose of the 1960 expedition was to establish facilities and cache supplies to support the scientific program beginning in 1961. ... The party left Quebec City on July 31 on board C.M.S. d'Iberville and arrived off Cape Skogn, Devon Island on August 20. By August 24 a camp consisting of three prefabricated Jamesway buildings and stores for twenty people for 5 months was installed at 75°42'N. 84°26'W. An 18-mile tractor route to the edge of the ice cap was then laid out and 6 tons of ice cap station supplies were hauled to the top of a 1000-foot plateau at the beginning of that route. ... It was decided to cache the supplies at the edge of the plateau and to establish the ice cap station in the spring of 1961, when the ground will be frozen. ... The archaeologists located two previously unknown sites. The first, in the vicinity of the base camp, includes four or five houses, three temporary houses, and several caches. It is probably a late Thule site. The second site is located near the western tip of Cape Sparbo and has been tentatively named the "Inapok" site. It ... includes 9 houses tent rings, and a number of other structures. There are undoubtedly both Dorset and Thule, and perhaps pre-Dorset elements in the site. The entire site is well preserved and has yielded about 90 artifacts including Dorset blades, microblade points, burins, microburins, burin spalls, knives, and end blades. Oliver continued his study of arctic chironomids and other aquatic insects by extensive collecting at Resolute and on Devon Island. Harington measured over 60 musk ox skulls and made a comprehensive plant collection. The Devon Island Station will be reoccupied in late April 1961, at which time the ice cap station will be established. Studies in meteorology, glaciology, oceanography, marine biology, and geology will then begin. The archaeological work will continue with a detailed excavation of the "Inapok" site and further reconnaissance of the island.






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