Skraeling Island

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Skraeling Island
Location Northern Canada
Coordinates 78°54′43″N 075°38′00″W / 78.91194°N 75.63333°W / 78.91194; -75.63333 (Skraeling Island)Coordinates: 78°54′43″N 075°38′00″W / 78.91194°N 75.63333°W / 78.91194; -75.63333 (Skraeling Island)[1]
Archipelago Queen Elizabeth Islands
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Length 2,000 m (7,000 ft)
Width 1,400 m (4,600 ft)
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk
Population Uninhabited

Skraeling Island lies off the east coast of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, at the mouth of Alexandra Fiord. Buchanan Bay lies to its north-east.


The Norse referred to the indigenous peoples they encountered in Greenland and the New World as skræling (`cloth-skin,' possibly derived from the hides the natives wore), and the sagas make it clear that the Norse considered the natives hostile.[2]


Skraeling Island is an extensive archeological site which has yielded a wealth of artifacts from Small-Tool cultures dating from 4500 BC (Dorset and Thule). Norse items found at Inuit sites — some 80 objects from a single site including a small driftwood carving of a face with European features — suggests that there was a lively trade between the groups (as well as an exchange of Norse goods among the Inuit).


  1. ^ Skraeling Island at the Atlas of Canada
  2. ^ Lemonick, Michael D.; Dorfman, Andrea (2000-05-08). "The Amazing Vikings". 155 (19). 

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