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LostCosmonaut

Norse Colony in Greenland

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The Norse colony in Greenland lasted from the late 10th century to early in the 15th century (the exact date the colony died out is unknown). The most common theory is that it died out due to changing climate conditions (the Little Ice Age), and I have no personal reason to dispute this.

 

Personally, I find the Greenland colony somewhat fascinating. Given the harsh conditions in Greenland, it's quite amazing that it survived as long as it did. Had it survived longer, or even lasted enough to be recontacted by Europe, it could have had interesting effects on history. Also, given that there is evidence that the colony traded with local native populations, I would be curious to know if anyone had any evidence that the locals had intermarried with the natives? Would there be any evidence in the genetic makeup of native populations in the area even 600 years later?

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The Norse were interesting in general, not just their American settlements. 

 

The Sandhavn settlement looks like it actually had co-habitation between Thule and Norse groups. 

 

Supposedly there was a blonde Inuit(s) that were supposedly linked some sort of Norse DNA, but the tests came back negative. 

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I vaguely recall Jared Diamond writing a thing on Scandanavian farming techniques of the period, and pointing out that they would be very poorly suited to the soils in their New World colonies because they would cause rapid soil depletion and erosion.

 

I'll have to see if I can find a reference for that.

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The Vikings in Greenland were pretty much the outcasts of the outcasts.

I knew I should have written down the author of the Greenland Vikings book I read fishing this summer. He was a Canadian that tracked down the likely landfalls of the Norse in Vinland in the 1960s. But the author did not paint a flattering picture of the fighting prowess of the Vikings in America.

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A recent article positing that the Greenland Norse weren't so clueless as history has made them out to be.

 

http://sciencenordic.com/greenland-vikings-outlived-climate-change-centuries

 

 

Honestly, I don't see anything in that article which really changes what we know happened in Greenland. We know a climatic event caused the Vikings to shift from an agrarian society based on herding to fishing and hunting. This also caused an abandonment of the smaller farms and a stratification of society with haves and have-nots and an elimination of the middle class yoeman farmer. They ceased to have the ability to build and own their own trading vessels putting them at the mercy of profit-minded outside traders. And eventually the Skraelings came.

 

The individuals interviewed seem to have built a strawman that everyone believes once the Little Ice Age took place that the Norse died off at once when we know that they clung to life and civilization bitterly and tenaciously for another couple centuries.

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More information regarding the theory that Greenland was much colder during the Medieval Warm Period.

 

http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/3266

 

As always, theories like this must be peer reviewed.

According to Science Advances, the journal this was originally published in, they peer review all research articles before publishing so this seems to be legit. However this could be part of the bigger leftist plot to fool the world in believing that humans have had an impact on the climate and then that will lead to the NWO taking control of America or something like that or so I hear from WoT off-topic forums. 

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According to Science Advances, the journal this was originally published in, they peer review all research articles before publishing so this seems to be legit. However this could be part of the bigger leftist plot to fool the world in believing that humans have had an impact on the climate and then that will lead to the NWO taking control of America or something like that or so I hear from WoT off-topic forums. 

That is a fair point. At any rate, I dig the fact that there is greater and greater interest in the subject.

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That is a fair point. At any rate, I dig the fact that there is greater and greater interest in the subject.

This is just something I do on basically all scientific journalism I read, going back and seeing the actual paper for myself. 

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On 3/4/2017 at 2:06 AM, Collimatrix said:

Apparently there's a lot of work being done on this lately.  It's looking like the old explanation of the decline of the colony, the one in Collapse, was wrong.

Interesting stuff. Although I always thought it was well known the bit about the walrus ivory hunts. Ditto the fact that the Western Settlement was intentionally abandoned.

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The Greenland colony really just petered out after ~500 years. Folks just filtered back east after a while. 

The more interesting thing now is the smoked bog iron found in Newfoundland (native tribes in the area did not have knowledge of this). Looks like there could have been a second colony at Point Rosee around the same time as L'anse aux Meadows. Kind of lending more credence to Vinland that was mentioned in the sagas. 

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