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Inuit History: 3000-5000 Years Ago...

Archaeologists recognize several periods in the development of Inuit culture, starting at about 3000-5000 years ago when a Paleo-Eskimo (Paleo: "ancient") group first appeared in the area that is now western Alaska.

Their stone harpoon tips, arrowheads, and knives were so small that archaeologists call the culture the Arctic Small Tool tradition. Traces of this tradition have been found across what is now the Canadian Arctic, all the way to Greenland, showing that the Paleo-Eskimo people migrated eastward.

We can only guess the reasons for this 3,500-mile migration, but these people probably followed animals into the new grazing lands that were created when the ice sheet melted.

Paleo-Eskimo Period: 3000-5000 years ago.
Dorset Period: 1000-3000 years ago.
Thule ("Toolee") Period: 300-1000 years ago.
Historical Period: Present-300 years ago.

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