James Savelle

Associate Professor

Ph.D University of Alberta (1986)

My current research focuses on three topics: 1. Prehistoric Thule Eskimo (Inuit) societies.  This research focuses on the organizational structure and social relations within the context of specialized whaling vs. more generalized economies.  This research has involved the investigation of regional settlement patterns, intra-site spatial patterning, the application of various zooarchaeological analytical techniques in the determination of the nature of extent of bowhead whale hunting and use, and ethnoarchaeological studies of modern Inuit whaling societies. 2. Paleoeskimo demographic history. This research, in conjunction with Arthur S. Dyke (Geological Survey of Canada) focuses on regional and temporal variation in Pre-Dorset and Dorset demography, including both the Foxe Basin ‘core area’ and peripheral regions, and incorporates extensive regional survey and radiocarbon dating components. 3. Arctic Holocene paleoecology.  Research in conjunction with Arthur S. Dyke (Geological Survey of Canada) using proxy data such as bowhead whale paleobiogeography and driftwood incursion rates to reconstruct Holocene sea-ice patterns in the Canadian Arctic.

Representative Publications

Monograph

Savelle, J.M.
1987  Collectors and Foragers: Subsistence -Settlement System Change in the Central Canadian Arctic, AD 1000-1960. British Archaeological Reports (International Series) 358. 337 p.

Edited Volumes

Kishigami, N., Hamaguchi, H., and Savelle, J.M. (eds)
2013 Anthropological Studies of Whaling. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 84. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Kishigami, N. and Savelle, J.M. (eds)
2005 Indigenous Use and Management of Marine Resources. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 67. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Habu, J., Savelle, J.M., Koyama, S. and Homogo, H. (eds.)
2003  Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim. Senri Ethnological Studies 63. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Savelle , J.M. and Dyke, A.S.                                                                                                                                                
2014. Paleoeskimo occupation history of Foxe Basin: Implications for the core-area model and for Dorset origins. American Antiquity 79(2): 249-276.

Savelle, J.M. and Dyke, A.S.
2014. Prehistoric Neoeskimo komatiks, Victoria Island, Arctic Canada. Arctic  67(2): 135-142.      

Savelle, J.M. and Kishigami, N.
2013 Anthropological research on whaling: prehistoric, historic and current contexts. In: Anthropological Studies of Whaling, edited by N. Kishigami, H. Hamaguchi and J.M. Savelle. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 84: 1-48.  National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Savelle, J.M. and Dyke, A.S.
2013 Prehistoric Inuit responses to changes in the marine environment in the Canadian Arctic. In Environmental Change and Subsistence of Northern peoples: Adaptation to the Changes of the Marine Ecosystem. Proceedings of the 27th International Abashiri Symposium (2013), Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples. Pp. 13-18.

Savelle, J.M., Dyke, A.S., Whitridge P.J., and Poupart, M.
2012 Paleoeskimo demography on western Victoria Island, Arctic Canada: Implications for social organization and longhouse development. Arctic 65: 167-181.

McLoud, B., A., Frasier, T.A., Dyke, A.S., Savelle, J.M., and White, N.B.
2012 Examination of ten thousand years of mitochondrial DNA diversity and population demographics in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) of the Central Canadian Arctic. Marine Mammal Science 28(4): 426-443.

Savelle, J.M. and Vadnais, A.
2011 Releasing the soul: Zooarchaeological evidence for a whale cult among prehistoric Thule Inuit in Canada. Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology 36(1): 93-112.

Dyke, A.S., Savelle, J.M. and Johnson, D.S.
2011 Paleoeskimo demography and Holocene sea-level history, Gulf of Boothia, Arctic Canada. Arctic.64: 151-168.

Polyak, L, Alley, R.B., Andrews, J.T., Brigham-Grette, J., Cronin, T.NM., Darby, D., Dyke, A., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Funder, S., Holland, M., Jennings, Miller, G.H., O’Regan, M, A., Savelle, J.M., Serreze, M., St. John, K, White, J.W.C, and Wolff, E.
2010 History of sea ice in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29(15-16): 1757-1778.

Savelle, J.M.
2010  Cumulative bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) harvest estimates by prehistoric Thule Inuit in the Canadian Arctic 1200-1500 A.D.: Implications for bowhead whale population modeling and Thule demography. Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology 34(3): 593-618.

Savelle, J.M. and Dyke, A.S.
2009. Paleoeskimo demography on western Boothia Peninsula, central Canadian Arctic. Journal of Field Archaeology, 34: 267-283.

Outridge P.M., Hobson K.A., and Savelle J. M.
2009. Long-term changes of mercury levels in ringed seal (Phoca hispida) from Amundsen Gulf, and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) from the Beaufort Sea, western Canadian Arctic. Science of the Total Environment 407: 6044-6051.

Dyke, A.S. and Savelle, J.M.
2009  Paleoeskimo demography and sea-level history, Kent Peninsula and King William Island, central Northwest Passage. Arctic 62(4): 371-392.

Savelle, J.M., Dyke, A.S. and Poupart, M.
2009. Paleo-Eskimo occupation history of Foxe Basin, Nunavut: Implications for the “core area.” In: Maschner, H., Mason O. and McGhee, R., eds. The Northern World AD 900-1400. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City: 209-234.

Polyak, L, Andrews, J., Brigham-Grette, J., Darby, D., Dyke, A., Funder, S., Holland, M., Jennings, A., Savelle, J.M., Serreze, M., Wolff, E.
2009  History of sea ice in the Arctic. In Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. Edited by A.B. Alley, J.Brigham-Grette, G.H. Miller, L. Polyak and J.W.C. White. Washington D.C.: U.S. Geological Survey. Pp.416-478

Savelle, J.M.
2008 Canadian Arctic Prehistory. In Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia. Edited by F.P. McManamon, et al. New York: Greenwood Press.

Savelle, J.M.
2007 Prehistoric Thule whaling in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. The World of Cultural Heritage 24:10-13. (in Japanese)

Patton, K. and Savelle, J.M.
2006  The symbolic dimensions of Thule Inuit whale bone use.  Etudes/Inuit/Studies. Volume  30(2), pp. 137-161.

Fisher, D., Dyke, A., Koerner, R., Bourgeois, Kinnard, C., Zdanowicz, A, De Vernal, C., Hillaire-Marcel, C., Savelle, J., and Rochon,
2006 Natural variability of arctic sea ice over the Holocene. Eos: Transactions  American Geophysical Union V. 87(28), pp. 273-275.

Outridge P.M., Hobson K.A. and Savelle J.M.
2005. Changes in the mercury and cadmium concentrations and feeding behaviour of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) near Somerset Island, Canada, during the 20th Century. Science of the Total Environment 350:106-118.

Savelle, J.M. and Kishigami, N.
2005 Concluding remarks. In: Indigenous Use and Management of Marine Resources, edited by N. Kishigami and J.M. Savelle. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 67: 445-448. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Savelle, J.M.
2005 Development of indigenous whaling: prehistoric and historic contexts. In: Indigenous Use and Management of Marine Resources, edited by N. Kishigami and J.M. Savelle. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 67: 53-58.  National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Kishigami, N. and Savelle, J.M.
2005 General introduction: marine resources and anthropology.  In: Indigenous Use and Management of Marine Resources, edited by N. Kishigami and J.M. Savelle. Senri  Ethnological Studies No. 67: 1-9.  National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.

Brooks, R.C., England, J.H., Dyke, A.S. and Savelle, J.M.
2004 Kruger’s final camp in Arctic Canada?(InfoNorth). Arctic 57:225-229.

Dixon, J.C, Veltre, D.W. and Savelle, J.M. (Guest editors)
2004 Introduction. Arctic Anthropology 41(2):3-4.

Douglas M.S.V., Smol, J.P., Savelle, J.M. and Blais, J.M.
2004  Prehistoric Inuit whalers affected arctic freshwater ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 101:1613-1617.

Savelle, J.M. and Habu, J.
2004  A processual investigation of a Thule whale Bone house, Somerset Island, Arctic Canada. Arctic Anthropology 41(2):204-221.

Wenzel, G.W. and Savelle, J.M.
2004 Allen P. McCartney’s contribution to Canadian Archaeology: a photo essay. Arctic Anthropology 41(2):197-203.

Savelle, J.M. and McCartney, A.P.
2003 Prehistoric bowhead whaling in the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska: a zooarchaeological assessment.  In: Indigenous Ways to the Present: Native Whaling in the Western Arctic, edited by A.P. McCartney. Canadian Circumpolar Institute: Studies in Whaling No. 6: 167-184.

Savelle, J.M. and Wenzel, G.W. 
2003  Out of Alaska: reconstructing prehistoric Canadian Thule Inuit social structure. In Habu et al. (eds). Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim. Senri Ethnological Studies 63:103-122.

Habu J., Savelle, J.M., Koyama S. and Hongo H.
2003 Introduction: complex Hunter-Gatherer studies in Japan and the North Pacific rim. In Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim. Senri Ethnological Studies 63:1-9.

Savelle, J.M.
2002  Logistical organization, social complexity, and the decline of prehistoric Thule Eskimo culture.  In Beyond Foraging and Collecting: Evolutionary Change in Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems, edited by B. Fitzhugh and J. Habu. Kluwer-Plenum Publishing, New York. Pp. 73-90.

Savelle, J.M. and McCartney, A.P.
2002  Prehistoric gray whale harvesting in the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska: a zooarchaeological assessment.  University of Oregon Anthropological Papers 59:307-318.

Savelle, J.M. and Dyke, A.S.
2002  Variability in Paleoeskimo occupation history on Victoria Island, N.W.T.: Causes and consequences. World Archaeology 33(3):508-522

Savelle, J.M. and McCartney, A.P.
2002  The application of bowhead whale bone architectural indices to prehistoric whale bone dwelling sites in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology (Osaka) 27(2):361-387.

Savelle, J.M.
2002  The Umialiit-Kariyit whaling complex and prehistoric Thule Eskimo social relations in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology (Osaka) 27(1):159-188.

Friesen, T.M., Savelle, J.M., and Diab, M.
2001  A consideration of the inter-specific application of food utility indices. In People and Wildlife in the North: Papers in Honour of R. Dale Guthrie, edited by C. Gerlach and M. Murray. British Archaeological Reports (International Series) 944. Pp.275-284.

Savelle, J.M., McCartney, A.P., and Dyke, A.S.
2001  Human predators and migratory megafauna: the case of Thule Eskimo bowhead whaling.  In People and Wildlife in the North: Papers in Honor of R. Dale Guthrie,edited by C. Gerlach and M. Murray. British Archaeological Reports (International Series) 944. Pp.242-254.

Dyke, A.S. and Savelle, J.M.
2001  Holocene history of the Bering Sea bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in its Beaufort Sea summer grounds off south-western Victoria Island, western Canadian Arctic. Quaternary Research 55:371-379.

Savelle, J.M.
2000  Information systems and Thule Eskimo bowhead whaling. In Animal Bones: Human Societies, edited by P. Rowley-Conwy. Oxbow Books. Pp. 74-86.

Dyke, A.S. and Savelle, J.M.
2000  The record of Holocene driftwood incursion to the southwestern Canadian Arctic Archipelago and its significance to paleoceanography and archaeology. Quaternary Research 55:371-379.

Dyke, A.S. and Savelle, J.M.
2000  Major end moraines of Younger Dryas age on Wollaston Peninsula, Victoria Island, Canadian Arctic: implications for paleoclimate and the formation of hummocky moraine. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 37(4):601-619

Savelle, J.M., Dyke, A.S. and McCartney, A.P.
2000  Holocene bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) mortality patterns in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Arctic 53(4):414-421.

Dyke, A.S., Hooper, J., Harington C.R. and Savelle, J.M.
1999  The late Wisconsin and Holocene record of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America: a review with new data from Arctic and Atlantic Canada. Arctic 52:160-181.