March 12th – 14th, 2019
Yukon Territorial Archaeologist (retired)
Greg Hare is the former Yukon Archaeologist and Senior Projects Archaeologist with the Government of Yukon, Canada. He recently retired after 30 years of service.
During that time, he was involved in a variety of archaeology projects but his research for the past 20 years was been primarily focused on the Yukon Ice Patch Project, a multidisciplinary research initiative taking place in the mountains of southern Yukon. The project is a collaboration between the Yukon government and six Yukon First Nations, combining community based research interests with ground-breaking archaeological discoveries.
Ice patch research in Yukon is part a newly emerging field of study known as glacial archaeology, practiced in numerous circumpolar and other countries.
The Yukon ice patches have recently been added to Canada’s tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Greg is an editor of the Journal of Glacial Archaeology, Sheffield, U.K. and in 2012 he was program chair for Frozen Pasts – the 3rd International Glacial Archaeology Conference, in Whitehorse Yukon.
He studied anthropology and archaeology at the University of Victoria and University of Alberta, Canada and lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
MSU Department of Anthropology Talk
Global Warming and Melting Ice
Looking into the Past – Preparing for the Future
Tuesday, March 12th – 3:00pm to 4:30pm
McDonel Hall, room C103
Increasing global temperatures have created both serious challenges and unique opportunities for archaeology in the circumpolar north. Permafrost and glaciers are melting, putting archaeological sites at risk, but also exposing previously unknown heritage resources. For the past 20 years archaeologists and First Nation researchers in Canada’s Yukon have been investigating rapidly melting alpine ice patches traditionally used for hunting caribou. Hundreds of ancient, organic hunting tools have been recovered from these patches that provide an extraordinary record of the technological traditions of Indigenous hunters spanning more than 9,000 years of Yukon’s sub-arctic history.
This presentation will provide an overview of the Yukon Ice Patch Project and explore the collaborative working relationship with indigenous communities and implications for heritage management. The talk will also review the challenges posed by environmental change, the newly developing field of glacial archaeology and possible implications for international research agendas.
Thursday, March 14th – 4:30pm to 5:30pm
International Center, room 303
Join us for a reception in advance of Greg Hare’s public talk at Michigan State University. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet Greg Hare and mingle with members of the university community and the general public. Light refreshments will be provided, and the reception is open to all.
MSU Public Talk
The Yukon Ice Patch Project
Ancient Artifacts Melting from Alpine Ice
Thursday, March 14th – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
International Center, room 303
In 1997, a fortuitous discovery in the mountains of southern Yukon began a new chapter of scientific research in that territory. Ancient caribou remains and prehistoric hunting technology were found melting from a small patch of alpine ice. Since that time, hundreds of ancient, organic artifacts and the bones of many alpine animals have been recovered from melting ice atop dozens of Yukon mountains. Some specimens have been dated at more than 9,000 years old. These artifacts are preserved because of a delicate balance between seasonal snow accumulation and summer melting. Multidisciplinary investigations are being carried out on the ice patches by a variety of academic, government and First Nation researchers. This presentation will provide an update and overview of one of North America’s unique scientific and heritage research projects.
Greg Hare’s visit is made possible by the MSU Department of Anthropology Alumni and Friends Expendable Fund for Archaeology and co-sponsored by the Michigan State University Canadian Studies Center, the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences and MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences.
Photo courtesy of the Government of Yukon