Wood supply at the edge of the world: the Norse Greenland case study

Elie Pinta, Claudia Baittinger

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Wood used in construction and boat building, in domestic productions or as a fuel resource was a key material for medieval North European societies. For people living in Medieval Scandinavia, trees and timber were common in both landscapes and mythology and therefore essential cultural items. Several studies have been conducted on the use of wood in Scandinavia, the British Isles and the North Atlantic islands, and have demonstrated the wide variety of objects that can be unearthed when preservation conditions are good (e.g Malmros 1994; Mooney 2016b; Pinta 2015).
The aim of this poster is to present the current research on the identification of wood species (both local and imported) used by European settlers in Greenland. An analysis of wood will help us to understand and retrace the origin and circulation of wood resources in the Norse settlements. What was the nature of woodworking strategies and management in the Norse Greenland society? Is this process best understood in terms of cultural dynamics or adaptive strategies when compared to other case studies from the Norse world?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEurodendro 2017 - University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Duration: 6 Sept 201710 Sept 2017


ConferenceEurodendro 2017
LocationUniversity of Tartu
Internet address


  • Archaeobotany
  • Norse Greenland
  • Wood Identification
  • Wood Provenance

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