THE FUEL ECONOMY OF NORSE SOCIETY IN SOUTHERN GREENLAND

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Abstract

Settlers from Scandinavia lived in Southern Greenland from the end of the 10th century CE until the 15th century.
Two kitchen middens where charred cereals have been found in earlier excavations are being analysed to gain further knowledge of Norse plant use. High temporal resolution analysis of macrofossils and pollen will inform on the Norse settlers plant use but can also give information about their fuel economy. Fuel was an important factor and hearth remains are preserved in the middens associated with Norse houses.
Charcoal from a kitchen midden from Igaliku (Ø49, 12 layers) excavated in 2021 and a midden from Qorlortup Itinnera (Ø35, 18 layers) excavated in 2022 are being analysed. Both are located in the so-called Eastern Settlement (Østerbygd). The basal layers of these middens are already known to be from the early Norse period and they will additionally be dated with AMS radiocarbon dating. The question of whether local resources, imported wood or driftwood or a combination of these were used will be addressed as well as the question of whether this balance changed during the Norse settlement period.
The charcoal, macrofossil and pollen results from the kitchen middens will be further compared to data on the local climate and environment with the aim of examining whether climatic and/or environmental changes influenced the Norse use of plant resources.
Translated title of the contributionBrændselsøkonomi i nordbosamfundet i Sydgrønland
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • charcoal
  • Norse society in Greenland
  • kitchen middens
  • fuel economy
  • driftwood/local resources

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