An explorative and research expedition bordering on the inhabited world, in order to investigate the lands and the people living face to face with the ice.
How could some hunter groups reach a remote area of Eastern Greenland, known as the Ammassalik District?
The answer is not easy, but an Italian scientific expedition is trying to find a possible explanation to the question, while exploring the ice land.
The expedition, called Saxum, is led by Gianluca Frinchillucci, director of the Polar Museum “S. Zavatti” of Fermo and responsible for the project CNR-Polarnet “Map of Arctic People”, on his seventh polar explorative mission, and involves several researchers and Italian universities. The initiative falls into the few Italian projects planned within the forth International Polar Year (2007-2008) and has received a merit badge by the President of Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.
The expedition, started on the 11th of June and finishing on the 9th of July, until this time, has already at his belt 117 days/man, during which, the Saxum team, thanks to the collaboration of the University of Bologna, have completed a genetic survey in a small village of hunters, called Isertoq. The DNA samples collected will enter the international project “Genographic” and will be taken to Italy to know the provenance of this Inuit population, remained isolated for ages; the first contact of this village with the “white man” was during the second world war. At no time, before now, Eastern Greenland had been object of such a scientific research.
In the same village, an important section of the expedition has been carried out in collaboration with the Italian no-profit association Perigeo Onlus, that takes care of the intercultural project “An Inuit for a Friend”, consisting in a drawing exchange among children belonging to different parts of the world, talking about their own realities through the privileged and immediate way of the drawing. At the moment the project involves Inuit children of Isertoq village, Nency children of Salechard (Western Siberia), Oromo children of Kofale and Surma children of Kibish village (both from Ethiopia) and Italian children from Marche, Liguria and Calabria regions.
In the last days, an exposition showing the drawings and the photographs of the children involved, has been set up in Isertoq village, together with the screening of a video and the delivery of the certificate of attendance to the project.
As regards the explorative content of Saxum, for now the members of the expedition have already crossed a part of the Greenlandic Ice Cap, under the experienced guidance of the explorer Robert Peroni, the best world connoisseur of Greenlandic ice, with 13 previous crossings in Greenland on his shoulders.
Doct. Gianluca Frinchillucci observes: “Compared to my last recognition in 2005, a huge portion of glacier has disappeared and temperatures are definitely higher than we expected”.
The crossing has also reached a worldwide record: two Italian guys Pietro Visetti (12 years old) and Chiara Cattani (9 years old), are the youngest explorers entering the Greenlandic Ice Cap from the eastern side.
Another section of the expedition is dedicated to the human physiology research on extreme environment. The project is coordinated by Prof. Pierluigi Pompei of the University of Camerino and consists in the permanent monitoring of the vital functions of the participants, through analysis and scientific instruments. Besides, the company Ethic Sport of San Marino, provided alimentary supplements for the expedition.
Among the research purposes of Saxum, there is also the monitoring of some endo-glacial caves, coordinated by the glacio-speleologist Ottorino Tosti and the climbing of the “Nameless Mountains”. The mountain climbers taking part in the expedition, will carry a stone coming form the GRAN SASSO and will place it on a Greenlandic peak, as a symbol of union among cultures. Stones and water will also be object of a scientific research realized by Davide Peluzzi, on the behalf of the University of L’Aquila, who is collecting samples.
The expedition, lasting about a month, is composed, apart from FRINCHILLUCCI, PELUZZI, and OTTORINO TOSTI, by GIORGIO MARINELLI, president of Perigeo Onlus Association, LUCA NATALI (Perigeo Onlus Ass.), the mountain climber LIBERO LIMONCELLI and the researcher FRANCO VARRASSI.
For more information:
Perigeo Onlus Association
Via Quasimodo n.5
62012, Civitanova MArche (MC)
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Tuesday, 01 July 2008 21:03
Saxum Expedition - Exploring the Great NorthWritten by Louise Huffman
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