Vikings of Greenland mystery


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Vikings of Greenland mystery

  1. 1. Mystery – What happened to the Vikings of Greenland? Archaeologists in the 1990s found The Vikings established dairy and sheep fragments of looms and cloth, an iron farms throughout the unglaciated areas of knife, soapstone jugs, and a double- the south of Greenland edged comb They built churches, a monastery, a From the number of farms archaeologists nunnery, and a cathedral guess that the population may have been about 5,000. Trading with Norway the Greenlanders A cathedral was built of the local reddish sold live falcons, polar bear skins, narwahl sandstone capable of holding several tusks, and walrus ivory hundred people The Church became a burden - soon it The number of Norwegian merchant owned two-thirds of the island's finest vessels arriving in their ports dropped until pastures, and tithes (taxes) were very high none came at all. Norwegian merchant vessels had brought By the 1300s Elephant ivory could be wood, iron and tools needed for their easily obtained from Africa and replaced farms and the building and maintenance walrus ivory. of the Viking boats. Farmland was over-exploited and lost Soil erosion came about due to the cutting fertility. of trees for fuel and for the production of charcoal Livestock ate any regenerating vegetation. Greenland's climate began to change; the Overgrazing by sheep, goats and cattle, summers grew shorter and progressively left the land in a poor state cooler, Long winters limited the time cattle could Colder winters affected the design of be kept outdoors and increasing the need houses – they were divided into smaller for winter fodder. spaces for warmth with the cows close by for the animals' body heat.
  2. 2. Archaeologists know that during one An ice core taken in 1992 shows a freezing winter farmers killed and ate their decided cooling off in the Western livestock, including newborn calves and Settlement during the mid-fourteenth lamb, century. By the 1400s the islanders lacked the Basque (Spanish) pirates attacked Vikings boats to migrate all together as they had in Iceland in the 15th century, burning neither nails, bolts, or wood houses and stealing treasure Archaeologists know that only one Viking The Vikings remained farmers and house on Greenland can be said to have concentrated on the raising of sheep, been destroyed by fire goats, and cattle rather than fishing The Inuit caught seals through holes in the Archaeologists can find no trace of the ice in winter when food was scarce, and Vikings using harpoons or fishhooks also caught a lot of fish As life became harder young Viking Two thirds of Vikings in Iceland were killed people may have left for Iceland on any by the black plague passing boat The Vikings traded tusks and hides with The Vikings saw themselves as Norway not for iron or wood, but religious Europeans, very different form the Inuit artefacts, stained glass and vestments for clergy. An expedition sent to Greenland in 1721 Archaeological remains show an found no surviving Europeans increasingly poor diet for humans and animals