Early Dorset

Early Dorset is believed to have developed from Pre-Dorset without immigration of new peoples; however, opposing views exist on this matter and the complex process does not need to be similar from one region to another (Hood, 1998). The emergence of Groswater in Labrador and Newfoundland around 2800 years BP, and the appearance of Independence II at the same time in northern Greenland are regional manifestations of a cultural change, which in other areas is termed

Transitional Pre-Dorset to Dorset or simply Early Dorset (Schledermann, 1990; Helmer, 1991).

Dwellings have been documented in the form of tent rings with stone set axial features as well as in the form of more permanently settled semi-subterranean dwellings, probably surrounded by low sod walls and with a roof of skin (Jensen, 1998). Characteristic artifacts include open socket and often self-bladed harpoon heads. Among the lithic (stone) artifacts, common types include bifacially chipped and side notched points, sideblades, and burinlike tools. Microblades usually occur in large quantities. Holes in bone artifacts such as harpoon heads and needles are gouged out, giving them an oblong shape as opposed to the circular holes seen in needles from Pre-Dorset. Sledge shoes of whalebone are known from Early Dorset sites, and the period marks an increase in the use of soap stone vessels.

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