Gashamna, Hornsund, Whale Bones - 4

Svalbard / Spitsbergen pictures, travel in the Arctic

The remains of a bowhead whale skull. These pieces are resting half way up a mound that is all that remains of a "blubber oven" where the oils was rendered from whales, the fires being fuelled by whale skin, bone and any other pieces that were not directly useful.

Such large pieces would presumably have been too large to fit into the oven themselves, they seem to have been left around the ovens, possibly adding to the structure with their bulk, or to gain the heat from the oven to help extract the oil (even whale bones are very oily).

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