Polar Record


Historic Inuit pottery in the eastern Canadian Arctic

James M. Savellea1

a1 Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER


Previously unpublished information from John Ross's expedition of 1829–33 to the Canadian Arctic indicates that Netsilik Inuit at that time manufactured and used clay-based ceramic pots. Additional published ethnohistoric and ethnographic sources indicate that the Sadlermiut Inuit, and probably the Utkuhikjalik and Qaernerimiut Inuit, also possessed ceramic technology. Considered in conjunction with survival characteristics of pottery, this suggests that the Thule ceramic complex was not restricted to early stages of Thule culture (AD 1000–1200) in the Eastern Arctic, but, at least in some areas, continued through to the early Historic period.

(Received April 1986)