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historie / history

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Qilakitsoq Tekst og Foto: Toke Brødsgaard

Some fascinating finds have been made in Greenland over the years; relics that tell of times past. Most of these relics were found by archaeologists from Denmark when they searched in and around settlements. Unusual grouse hunt One of the most remarkable finds forever, was made in 1972 by two men, Hans and Jokum Grønvold, who were out hunting grouse. They found some very well-preserved mummies in a shallow cave under a rock outcrop. The site is a few hundred metres from the settlement of Qilakitsoq which lies on the Nuussuaq Peninsular near Uummannaq. At first, the grouse hunters did not realise what they had found in the two 12

greenland today

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graves. They thought they had found the bodies of people who had recently been placed there, so they reported the find immediately to the police. Unique find This, however, was far from being the case. The find proved to be unique; it was the bodies of eight mummified people that had been placed there several hundred years earlier. Later studies undertaken by the National Museum in Denmark showed that the mummies date back to the Thule Culture, and the are about 500 years old. Unique balance with nature The mummies were not embalmed like the mummies we know from e.g. Egypt.

The Qilakitsoq mummies were preserved by nature. The site where they were found has the proper balance of the conditions that made this possible. The balance concerns a series of decisive factors such as humidity, acidity, shade with almost constant frost, good drainage between the rocks and the fact that the mummies were protected from the wind and weather by the outcrop where they were found. Thought it was a doll The most well-preserved of the mummies was a little boy, estimated to have been about six months old. Hair, body and especially the boy’s clothing are very well preserved. When they found him, the grouse hunters thought he was a

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greenland today no 24  

Stories from Greenland and the Arctic. For all who are interested in culture, business, travel experiences, music, food, development and cli...

greenland today no 24  

Stories from Greenland and the Arctic. For all who are interested in culture, business, travel experiences, music, food, development and cli...