There are plenty of Early Dorset artifacts in ethnographic and archaeologic collections from Greenland (Solberg 1907). However, knowledge of the Early Dorset have remained sporadic as only little systematic research or continuous effort has been done to enlighten the whereabouts of the Early Dorset. In Disko Bay scholarly excavations were carried out at the multi-component site of Sermermiut by Thomas Thomsen and Morten Porsild already at the beginning of the 20th century, but unfortunately both failed to describe the stratigraphy in such details, that the chronological sequence could be separated. This was not done until 1953 when Disko Bay once again was the focus of archaeological reconnaissance and excavation (Larsen and Meldgaard 1958).
During the 1953 fieldwork at Sermermiut, the chronological sequences of Saqqaq, Early Dorset and Thule were, for the first time, documented in a stratified context. Stratigraphical observations combined with C14 datings at the middens of Sermermiut (Larsen and Meldgaard 1958) and Qajaa (Meldgaard 1983) have placed the Early Dorset as a horizon from 600 BC to 200 AD, although this picture may be changed by new datings from other areas. Disko Fjord and coastal zones in northern Disko Bay were surveyed in 1977 and 1981 (Møbjerg 1986). These investigations generally confirmed the existing picture of the Early Dorset sites as being fewer in numbers than the Saqqaq sites.
Following the establishment of Greenlandic Home Rule in 1979 and a renewed interest among Greenlanders of their cultural heritage, many municipalities established local museums in the early 1980s. During the passed 18-20 years these institutions have often co-operated with the National Museum of Greenland and Danish institutions have initiated a large number of archaeological reconnoitring and excavations.
In 1982 the museums of Ilulissat and Qasigiannguit thus participated in the excavations at Qajaa (Meldgaard 1991), and in the following years the southern part of Disko Bay was surveyed on the initiative of the museum in Qasigiannguit (Grønnow 1994). In 1983 these surveys led to the discovery and subsequent excavation of the large Saqqaq site at Qeqertasussuk. When the excavations on Qeqertasussuk were finished in the late 1980s, the museums of Qasigiannguit and Aasiaat continued the archaeological activities by excavating Early Dorset sites in the southwest part of Disko Bay (Jensen 1994; Johansen and Stapert 1995, 1996; Rasch and Jensen 1997).
From 1995-1996 the museums of Qasigiannguit and Aasiaat, in co-operation with University of Copenhagen and University of Tromsø, Norway, carried out surveys and excavations of Palaeo-Eskimo dwelling structures and sites. During the 1995 fieldwork, 48 new stoneage sites were discovered in the research area, and subsequently five Saqqaq sites, three Early Dorset sites, two multi-component Saqqaq-Dorset sites and one Thule dwelling were excavated. The material from these excavations is published in Jens Fog Jensen: Stone Age of Qeqertarsuup Tunua (Disko Bugt), 2006.