Thursday, January 10, 2013

Viking helmet

Why did the Vikings leave Greenland?

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From sometime in the 10th century to sometime in the 15th century Vikings had a permanent settlement on the coast of Greenland. Then they left... This wasn't a Roanoke situation, we know they went back to Europe (and Iceland), but until now they weren't sure why...

Aus Der Spiegel:

The scientists suspect that a combination of causes made life there unbearable for the Scandinavian immigrants. For instance, there was hardly any demand anymore for walrus tusks and seal pelts, the colony's most important export items. What's more, by the mid-14th century, regular ship traffic with Norway and Iceland had ceased.
As a result, Greenland's residents were increasingly isolated from their mother countries. Although they urgently needed building lumber and iron tools, they could now only get their hands on them sporadically. "It became more and more difficult for the Greenlanders to attract merchants from Europe to the island," speculates Jette Arneborg, an archeologist at the National Museum of Denmark, in Copenhagen. "But, without trade, they couldn't survive in the long run."

So in no particular order they missed Volvos, Aquavit and Ikea. I'm a master of Anthropology and cultural subtitles. 
Check out the links below for the full stories.

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