Marine ventures

Marine ventures


Comparative perspectives on the dynamics of early human approaches to the seascapes of Tierra del Fuego and Norway.

Cambaceres, med Canal Beagle i bakgrunnen. En av de 1300 overgrodde skjellmøddingene som er registrert omkring bukta i forgrunnen. Foto H. Bjerck.

"Marine Ventures" focuses on the similarities and differences in the cultural developments in the two coastal areas, on different sides of the world, but also with many common features: Seascapes of Patagonia and Scandinavia. The lack of cultural relations between these distant areas implies two completely independent trajectories towards seascapes and marine adaptations, which display a cultural dynamism that is of global archaeological interest.

The emergence and development of marine adaptations is a central academic focus – interaction between social structure, dwellings and boats, the structure of dwelling sites and logistics. The project includes field trips and archaeological investigations in Norway and Tierra del Fuego, specifically Cambaceres, Estancia Haberton at the Canal Beagle. One of the four work packages in the project is a comparison of how cultural heritage provided and managed in Argentina and Norway, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego and the Vega World Heritage site in Nordland, Norway.

The project is owned by NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet and funded with support from the Research Council of Norway, Latin America program (Project no 208828).

The project period for the Marine Ventures is April 1 2011-March 31 2014.  The project continues, at the moment we are working on publishing the proceedings from the Marine Venture Int. Symposium in 2013, expected to be finished in spring 2015.

15 okt 2020

References of special relevance to the project

References of special relevance to the project


Bjerck, H. B. (editor-in-chief), H. M. Breivik, S. E. Fretheim, E. L. Piana, B. Skar, A. Tivoli & A. F. Zangrando (editors) 2016 MARINE VENTURES - Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations. Equinox Publishing, Sheffield and Bristol.

Ch. 1: Bjerck, Hein; Zangrando, A. Francisco J.: «Introduction: Marine Ventures -- Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations.»

Ch. 4: Bjerck, Hein; Breivik, Heidi; Piana, Ernesto; Zangrando, A. Francisco J.: «Exploring the Role of Pinnipeds in the Human Colonization of the Seascapes of Patagonia and Scandinavia.»

Ch. 5: Breivik, Heidi; Bjerck, Hein; Zangrando, A. Francisco J.; Piana, Ernesto: «On the Applicability of Environmental and Ethnographic Reference Frames: An Example from the High-latitude Seascapes of Norway and Tierra del Fuego.»

Ch. 8: Zangrando, A. Francisco J.; Tivoli, Angélica; Bjerck, Hein; Breivik, Heidi; Fretheim, Silje; Piana, Ernesto: «Exploring Trajectories towards Social Complexity: Marine Foragers in the Archipelagos of Tierra del Fuego and Norway.»

Ch. 11: Fretheim, Silje; Piana, Ernesto; Bjerck, Hein; Zangrando, A. Francisco J.: «Home by the Sea: Exploring Traditions of Dwelling Reoccupation and Settlement Stability among Marine Foragers in Norway and Tierra del Fuego.»

Ch. 14: Skar, Birgitte; Lidén, Kirsten; Eriksson, Gunilla; Sellevold, Berit: «A Submerged Mesolithic Grave Site Reveals Remains of the First Norwegian Seal Hunters.»

Ch. 22: Husøy, Magnhild; Swensen, Elisabeth: «Marine Ventures and Thomas Bridges' Yamana-English Dictionary.»

Breivik, Heidi M. 2016. Dynamic relations between humans and environment in the earliest settlement phase of Norway (9500-8000 cal BC). (PhD Dissertation, Defended October 21, 2016)

Bjerck, Hein B. 2016. Settlements and Seafaring: Reflections on the Integration of Boats and Settlements Among Marine Foragers in Early Mesolithic Norway and the Yámana of Tierra del Fuego, The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, DOI:10.1080/15564894.2016.1190425

Open Access:

Nielssen, A. R. (red.) 2014. Norges fiskeri- og kysthistorie. Bind 1, Fangstmenn, fiskerbønder og værfolk. Museumsforlaget, Trondheim

Kap. 2: Bjerck, H. B.: Kolonisering av den skandinaviske skjærgårdskysten og begynnelsen til sjøfangsten

Kap. 3: Bjerck, H. B.: Utviklingen av sjøfangsten og steinalderens fangstsamfunn

Kap. 4: Bjerck, H. B.: Fra steinalderens sjøfangst til metalltidens sjøfart

Swensen, E. F. (Bjerck, H. B., supervisor). 2014. Foraging in the Yamana-English Dictionary. Exploring Ethnographic Sources of Tierra del Fuego and a Discussion of their Relevance to the Archaeological Record in the Beagle Channel. MA-thesis, 98 pages.

Oftedal, K. Ø. (Skar, B., supervisor). 2014. Cultural Heritage Management in Argentina and Norway. A case study of the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego and the World Heritage Site of Vega. MA-thesis, 85 pages.

Breivik, Heidi Mjelva. 2014. Palaeo-oceanographic development and human adaptive strategies in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: A study from the Norwegian coastThe Holocene, Aug, 1-13

Hein B. Bjerck & Atilio Francisco Zangrando. 2013. Marine Ventures: Comparative Perspectives on the Dynamics of Early Human Approaches to the Seascapes of Tierra del Fuego and Norway, The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 8:1, 79-90

Bjerck, Hein B. & Breivik, Heidi Mjelva. 2012. Off shore pioneers: Scandinavian and Patagonian lifestyles compared in the Marine Ventures project. Antiquity 2012/0208.

Bjerck, H. B. 2007. Mesolithic coastal settlements and shell middens in Norway? In Shell Middens in Atlantic Europe (N. Milner, O. E. Craig, and G. Bailey, eds): 5–30. Oxford: Oxbow.

Bjerck, H. B. 2009. Colonizing seascapes: comparative perspectives on the development of maritime relations in Scandinavia and Patagonia. Arctic Anthropology, 46 (1–2): 118–131.

Blankholm, H. P., J. Estevez, J. Barcelo and B. Hood 2009. Tops of the World (TOW): The dawn of a concept. Arctic Anthropology, 46(1–2): 1–7.

Borrero, L. A. and C. McEwan 1997. The Peopling of Patagonia. The First Human Occupation. In Patagonia. Natural History, Prehistory and Ethnography at the Uttermost End of the Earth (C. McEwan, L. A. Borrero and A. Prieto, eds): 32–46. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Bridges, L. 1947. Uttermost part of the Earth. London: Hodder and Stonghton.

Erlandson, J. M. 2001. The archaeology of aquatic adaptations: paradigms for a new millennium. Journal of Archaeological Research, 9(4): 287–350.

Erlandson, J. M. and S. M. Fitzpatrick 2006. Oceans, Islands, and Coasts: Current Perspectives on the Role of the Sea in Human Prehistory. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 1: 5–32.

Estévez, J. 2009. Ethnoarchaeology in the uttermost part of the Earth. Arctic Anthropology, 46 (1–2): 132–143.

Orquera, L. A., D. Legoupil and E. L. Piana 2011. Littoral adaptation at the southern end of South America. Quaternary International, 239: 61–69.

Piana, E. L. and L. A. Orquera 2009. The southern Top of the world. The first peopling of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and the cultural endurance of the Fuegian sea-nomads. Arctic Anthropology, 45(1–2): 103–117.

Piana, E. L. and Orquera, A. L. 2010. Shell midden formation at the Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego, Argentine). (D. Calado, M. Baldia and M. Boulanger, eds) Monumental Questions: Prehistoric Megaliths, Mounds and Enclosures. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2122: 263–273. Oxford: Archeopress.

Simonsen, K. 2007. Practice, spatiality and embodied emotions: an outline of a geography of practice. Human Affairs, 17(2): 168–181.

Skar, B. 2006. The challenge of bridging the gap between landscape theory and practice. In Landscape Ideologies (T. Meier, ed.): 209–229 Budapest:  Archaeolingua. Ser. Min. 22.

 Smith, L., and E. Waterton 2009. Heritage, Communities and Archaeology. London: Duckworth.

Yesner, D. 2004. Prehistoric Maritime Adaptations of the Subarctic and Subantarctic Zones: The Aleutian/Fuegian Connection Reconsidered. Arctic Anthropology, 41(2): 76–97.

Zangrando, A. F. 2009. Is fishing intensification a direct route to hunter-gatherer complexity? A case study from the Beagle Channel region (Tierra del Fuego, southern South America). World Archaeology, 41(4): 589–608.

Zangrando, A. F. 2010. Coastal archaeology and hunter-gatherers in the south-eastern of Tierra del Fuego. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 5(2): 288–291.


Link to Flickr album.
Photo album on Flickr

Photos from archaeological investigations on Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (2011-2013)

Photos from the exhibition

Photos from the opening of the exhibition "Marine ventures - Stone Age foragers in the seascapes of Norway and Tierra del Fuego"

Related material

Related material


About the project:

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The NTNU University Museum:

CADIC – CONICET, Laboratorio de Antropología