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Dataset - Historical Resource Exploitation in the Arctic and Antarctic

Dag Avango (2001). Historical Resource Exploitation in the Arctic and Antarctic. (v3) The Netherlands. Published by RUG Arctic Center, The Netherlands.
Please use the citation above when using this dataset. Download as: BibTex or RIS


LASHIPA is a historical-archaeological research project, started within the framework of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-09 (see The objectives of the project are to explain the development of industry in the polar areas from the 17th century until today and the consequences of that development for the geo political situation and the natural environment there. The main research questions are: why, how and under what economical and geo-political circumstances have the natural resources in the Polar Region been explored and exploited? What was the role of the settlements and stations in this process? What were the economic results and what were the consequences for the natural environment and the geopolitical situation?
The project is focused on a set of research problems, concerning a) the driving forces behind industrial development in the polar areas, b) the transfer of technology and community planning to polar environments, c) international competition over natural resources, d) international competition for national influence over polar no-man's lands and e) the impact of large scale natural resource utilisation on the natural environment.
LASHIPA seeks explanations and understandings from an international comparative perspective. Moreover it uses an historical-archaeological methodology, involving both historical research in archives and archaeological field work at industrial sites in the polar areas. Therefore, the project has performed nine archaeological expeditions in the Arctic and in Antarctica / South Atlantic:
LASHIPA 1 (2004) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden, Adventfjorden, Billefjorden and Sassenfjorden).
LASHIPA 2 (2005) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden and Grønfjorden)
LASHIPA 3 (2006) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden, Sassenfjorden, Grønfjorden, Bellsund, Van Mijenfjorden, Recherchefjorden and Van Keulenfjorden)
LASHIPA 4 (2007) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden, Grønfjorden and Adventfjorden)
LASHIPA 5 (2008) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden, Sassenfjorden, Adventfjorden, Jonsfjorden, Kongsfjorden, Krossfjorden, Tinayrebukta, Lilliehöökfjorden, Prins Karls Forland as well as several sites on Bjørnøya)
LASHIPA 6 (2009) South Georgia (Prince Olav Harbour, Ocean Harbour and Grytviken)
LASHIPA 7 (2009) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Isfjorden)
LASHIPA 8 (2010) Antarctica (South Orkney, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland)
LASHIPA 9 (2010) Spitsbergen / Svalbard (Hambergbukta on the east coast of Spitsbergen, South Cape, Horn Sound, Spitsbergen west coast, Bellsund, Recherchefjorden, Van Keulenfjorden and Isfjorden)
Most of the data was collected by documentation of remains visible above ground, using five different documentation techniques - 1) mapping with total station, 2) mapping with a GPS based mapping device, 3) digital photography, 4) hand measured drawings and 5) description in text.
The main researcher of one of the LASHIPA sub-project, collected data through an archaeological excavation (in addition to the above mentioned techniques). The excavation was performed at Kokerineset on Spitsbergen / Svalbard during LASHIPA 4 & 5 (pre-investigations were made during LASHIPA 2 & 3).
LASHIPA is led by the Arctic Centre, University of Groningen and include several university departments and research institutes internationally: Div of History of Science & Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden; Industrial archaeology, Michigan Technological University in USA; European University of St Petersburg and The Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia. In Norway researchers from two organisations participate - National Board of Antiquities and the Economic History Section at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen. In Great Britain researchers from the cultural heritage management of Scotland participate.
The main funding came from the Dutch Science Council (NWO). Substantial funding was provided by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR) and some funding from the National Science Foundation in the USA (NSF) as well as other funding agencies internationally.
For additional information on LASHIPA, visit:


The objective of the LASHIPA expeditions was closely connected to the overall objectives and research questions of the program and its sub-projects (mainly PhD & Post-doc projects). Therefore, the archaeological data from LASHIPA has served several purposes.
However, in general, the project members of LASHIPA has collected the data with the purpose of dealing with four of the main research problems of the project: 1) the transfer of technology and community planning to polar environments, 2) international competition over natural resources, 3) international competition for national influence over polar no-man's lands and 4) the impact of large scale natural resource utilisation on the natural environment. The data in the database all relate, in one way or the other, to the above mentioned research problems. A second main purpose of the data is for relevant organisations to use it for the protection and management of cultural heritage in the polar areas.

Temporal coverage


1 August 2004 to 31 December 2011

PlatformNot Applicable
InstrumentEarth Remote Sensing Instruments > Passive Remote Sensing > Positioning/navigation > Gps > Global Positioning System (gps)
InstrumentIn Situ/laboratory Instruments > Photon/optical Detectors > Cameras

Originating center

Arctic Centre - RUG



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Dataset progress

in work

Data quality

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Use constraints

Please contact Dag Avango / Louwrens Hacquebord for proper citation.


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