Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 370951
Title Search for Barents: Evaluation of possible burial sites on north Novaya Zemlya, Russia
Author(s) Zeeberg, J.J.; Floore, P.M.; Maat, G.J.R.; Gawronski, J.H.
Source Arctic 55 (2002)4. - ISSN 0004-0843 - p. 329 - 338.
Department(s) RIVO Biologie en Ecologie
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2002
Abstract Three cairns on northernmost Novaya Zemlya identified as possible rock-pile graves by Russian investigators in 1977 and 1988 were located and inspected for human remains. These cairns are in the area visited by Dutch seafarers between 17 and 22 June 1597, after their wintering on Novaya Zemlya, and may contain the body of Willem Barents. Barents and one of his crewmen died on 20 June 1597 while the winterers were on landfast ice close to shore. Previous research on Spitsbergen and contemporary reports on the efforts of 16th and 17th century Dutch seafarers to prepare a Christian grave led us to conclude that the deceased probably were buried on the beach, possibly in a shallow grave or a snowbank. Inspection of the area indicates that this grave probably was destroyed by high (5+ m asl) wave run-up during storms, cryogenic erosion, and animals (polar bear, fox). None of the cairns, or any of several other prominent rock piles in the ~180 km long search area, contained human remains or had lichen growths that would indicate construction ~400 years ago (>2 cm, Rhizocarpon sp.). Cairns were not reported by the Dutch in 1594-98, and most of those encountered on northern Novaya Zemlya probably date from exploration after ca. 1860, when the region north of ~76°N became accessible in a warming, post-Little Ice Age climate
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