INUIT OF RIGOLET PT. 2
In this final episode, the Wild Archaeology team returns to the Inuit excavation site at Double Mer in Rigolet, where both Jen and Jacob make very special discoveries. A field lab set up in the town’s fishing loft reveals surprising information about material goods traded from European explorers in the 18th Century. Later, it’s off to Memorial University in St. John’s where Dr. Lisa Rankin reveals some the site’s most impressive finds. And then Dr. Rudy, Jen and Jacob take a moment to reflect back on their remarkable cross-country adventure.
Flint Knapping in Newfoundland
One of the most sought after items in trade with the Europeans was guns for hunting. The height of early gun technology was the “flintlock” – a simple and very reliable mechanism for igniting gunpowder to shoot a musket ball. This is why they find diagnostic samples of flint at the Double Mer excavation.
Of Bone, Stone and Iron
Recycling old materials and giving them new life is a hallmark of the early people of Canada who met scarcity and adversity with ingenuity and innovation. At Rigolet we see this across a wide range of tools and implements at a time of great change. The ability to maintain the old ways yet incorporate new materials into their culture is a process the Inuit have exploited to their advantage and will continue to enable the future of the community.
“Jen and Jacob are discovering how to fit the context of their finds into the broader site.”
– Dr. Rudy Reimer
Living through a long, dark winter in a semi-underground house, you can guess what the most important requirement in the Inuit home was – light and heat. The soapstone lamp is an impressive object that was fueled by whale or seal oil. The wick was like a piece of rope laid along the center line to cast a ghostly, shifting light. Extremely valuable and highly prized, soapstone lamps were passed down from generation to generation and carried the stories of the elders.