Norse Greenland: Research into abandonment

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Abstract

The story about Norse Greenland is the story of virgin land being colonized, settled for half a millennium, and then abandoned. The enigma of the abandonment of the settlements has attracted the attention of researchers and the public for centuries and many explanations have been put forward. Today human agency, landscape changes, climate changes, resilience, sustainability and adaptation are key words and research has moved from local to more global perspectives. New results from research projects in recent years have diversified
the discussion claiming that the Norse Greenlanders created a flexible and successful subsistence system that responded effectively to the major environmental challenges they faced. In a recent paper it has been argued (Dugmore et al 2012) that abandonment should be explained by a combination of external factors (climate changes; changes in European trade systems). In this paper the argument is explored further, focussing especially on Norse
governance, Norse dietary economy and settlement patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedieval Archaeology in Scandinavia and Beyond : History, trends and tomorrow
EditorsMette Svart Kristiansen, Else Roesdahl, James Graham-Campbell
PublisherAarhus Universitetsforlag
Publication date2015
Pages257-271
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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