The author makes a review of conceptions explaining the beginnings of human penetration into the region of Spitsbergen and points to attempts of employing archeological data in this task. In his analysis of the development, the tendencies and the state of the excavatory exploration of Spitsbergen the author tries to define the cognitive capabilities of archeology in the investigation of the history of human activity in the area. The appraisal of achievements in the field prompts the author to propose new priorities in the research problems hitherto undertaken by archeologists. Greater emphasis should be put on the examination of the structure and the dynamics of the analysed processes, rather than on the purely historical (event-centered) aspects.
The authors make a review of relics of Russian Hunting Stations on the Dunöyane (Down Islands), a group of small islets to the north of the mouth of the Hornsund fiord. They relate to the relics of the station from Store Dunöya and to the well known story about the groups of Russian hunters that were killed in 1819. Remnants of dwelling-houses, baths, monumental votive crosses, graves a.s.o. on Fjörnholmen are relics of a large basic stations situated very close to a convenient anchorage. Undoubtedly, it was working mainly during the second half of the 18th century.