Why the Vikings disappeared from Greenland?


The mysterious disappearance of the Norse settlements of colonists in Greenland for centuries now agitating the minds of scientists. Recently, archaeologists have conducted a comprehensive study and revised the old theory about how they lived and what happened to the Nords, leaving their land.

In 1721 the missionary egged sailed on the ship called “Hope” from Norway to Greenland, in search of Norwegian farmers, about which nothing was heard for 200 years to convert them to Protestantism. He explored the coast, fjords and valleys, but when he asked the local hunters, the Inuit, those pointed out to him only on the ruins of the stone Church — all that remains of 500 years of occupation. “Is this the fate that awaits all who long to cut off from communication with the more civilized world? Have destroyed their invasion of the natives or a harsh climate and infertile soil?”, egged wrote in his report about the trip.

Archaeologists are interested in this issue still. None of the chapters of the history of the lands of the Arctic ocean was not as mysterious as the disappearance of most of these Norwegian settlements in the area of the XV century. Theorists give a lot of hypotheses, from the invasion of the pirates to the Black death. But most historians tend to blame themselves for what happened to the colonists, who were unable to adapt to the harsh climate. The Norse arrived in Greenland from Iceland during the warming period around the year 1000 ad, But even in an era cold (so-called little ice age) they were still trying to raise cattle and build houses, spending small areas suitable for grazing, soil and wood. At the same time, apparently, along with them lived the Inuit, leading the way of life of hunters and fishermen-whalers.

Over the last decade, however, new excavations in the North Atlantic has forced archaeologists to revise some of my old views. An international research team called the North Atlantic biocultural organization (NABO) has collected data showing that the Norse population of Greenland prefer the breeding of cattle, and trade, especially walrus Tusk, and in terms of diet relied more on seafood than on agriculture. However, the main problem in the study of organic artefacts, bones and horns of animals, fragments of scales and skins for clothing — is that they can be perfectly preserved in the permafrost, but global warming, the effects of which last couple of years has greatly affected the climate of Greenland, they thaw and decompose rapidly. “This is a disaster: our eyes are dying priceless data and we don’t have time to save everything!” lamenting the historian Paul Hill from Trinity College Dublin.

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