Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions

Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions
To see 2012 expedition go to: http://bushpilotexplorer.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 18, 2011

Graves Observed from my 2003 Expedition

Grave near southern shores of  KWI  (Click to Enlarge)
These two grave locations were observed and photographed near the southern shores of King William Island from the 2003 trip.  Not the first one to find these locations, but very interesting non the less.  Buried on the land and covered with rocks and wood.    Many bone fragments and a few tent rings scattered all around within 50 yards.  Arctic foxes have long ago had their way.  Guessing these two unfortunates were hunters, traders or explorers from the mid or late part of the last century.  

(Click to Enlarge)  Bullet hole to the back of the skull?



Part of the top and the end of the enclosure of one of the graves was totally exposed, with part of the skeleton still laid out and intact, probably as it was soon after death.  Note what appears to be a bullet hole in the back of the skull on one (picture on the right).  Only had an hour as the weather closed in rapidly from the west that day.  Low ceilings, rain and fog.  Had to depart quickly.  This turned into an instrument flight 350 miles south to Baker Lake, requiring a full instrument approach at minimums.

5 comments:

  1. Care to wager a guess as to which expedition provided those graves?

    -Laura

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  2. Great question Laura Ann. Have not a clue. I was totally speculating on the age too. This is something a seasoned archeologist or paleontologist, who is familiar with this area of the high arctic, would know much better than I. And/or of course a scholar, historian. Maybe Russell or William might have a better guess. I reached out to them.

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  3. Just a quick thought - if that is a bullet injury in the skull visible, I don't think it could have been made by anyone on the Franklin Expedition. Their firearms were either shotguns or muzzle-loading muskets, which I tbink would produce a much bigger injury. But a pathologist would be able to assess it better I guess...

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  4. I agree William. Also I think it is more recent because of the condition of the wood that is partially covering the skeletons.

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  5. Some great input from David Woodman - "probability, would be Inuit."

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