Thule Tradition

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Late prehistoric hunting communities dating to the period 700 bc through to modern times living around the Siberian and American coasts of the Chukchi Sea, and around the American shore of the Bering Sea. These groups were mainly whale‐and seal‐hunting communities. They are characterized by the presence of polished slate tools, sophisticated toggling harpoons, and an elaborate and intricate art style. The Thule Tradition embraces a series of geographically and regionally distinct cultural groups, including Old Bering Sea cultures, the Punuk Culture, and the Birnirk cultures. Sometime around the beginning of the 2nd millennium ad Thule people began migrating to the east so that by the 13th century ad they had settled throughout the coasts of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Here they replaced the Palaeo‐Eskimo (i.e. Pre‐Dorset and Dorset cultures) with what might be termed Neo‐Eskimo.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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