It is a truism that archaeology begins yesterday, and now with only the archaeology of the future to plan for, the discipline has been expanding into areas of the globe where material culture has hitherto played little part.
Antarctica is one of these new areas: more than two centuries of human occupation have left plentiful traces. At least five successive and partly overlapping phases of activity can be defined: sealing, whaling, polar exploration, scientific investigation and tourism.
Sealing began in the late 18th century, when Captain James Cook’s account of his voyages in the Southern Ocean, published in 1777, included his discovery of South Georgia with its enormous population of fur seals. Sealers from England and the eastern United States swarmed to raid the seal rookeries.
Kind of a neat article exploring the various periods that human presence in the Antarctic went through.