This paper describes a cluster of large communal structures in the Oxford Bay region of
southeastern Victoria Island in Nunavut, Arctic Canada. The structures consist of linear stone outlines of
up to 24 meters in length, and resemble the relatively well-documented Late Dorset longhouses which have
been found across much of the Eastern Arctic. However, radiocarbon dates indicate that the Oxford Bay
structures were built and used from roughly 200 to 600-700 cal AD, placing them in the Middle Dorset
period. Elsewhere, Middle Dorset communal structures are rare, making the Oxford Bay phenomenon
unique. The sites are interpreted as resulting from population aggregations associated with the fall caribou
hunt, and may represent direct predecessors of the more widespread Late Dorset longhouses.
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