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"This meeting between these two peoples (Thule and Dorset) would have been a very stark meeting," Fitzhugh said, "between people with very conservative, beautiful stone technology and beautiful artwork and so on, but socially and economically, they were just no match for this onslaught from this Thule machine. ... They were, in a sense, sitting ducks."

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/dorset-dna-genes-trace-tale-arctics-long-gone-hobbits-n191156

"Stark" has several meanings, so I couldn't understand which one applies here.

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The article suggests the Thule people/culture wiped out the Dorset people, so

2. harsh, grim, or desolate, as a view, place, etc.

where grim is

4. fierce, savage, or cruel:

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