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Thread: The Norse Settlements in Greenland

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    The Norse Settlements in Greenland

    A site dedicated to the viking voyage Greenland - New Foundland year 1000

    Linkhttp://www.greenland-guide.dk/leif2000/
    Lík börn leika best.

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    The norse settlements at Greenland

    "It happens in Greenland...that all that is taken there from other countries is costly there, because the country lies so far from other countries that people rarely travel there. Every item, with which they might help the country, they must buy from other countries, both iron and all the timber with which they build houses. People export these goods from there: goatskins, ox-hides, sealskins and the rope...which they cut out of the fish called walrus and which is called skin rope, and their tusks...The people have been christened, and have both churches and priests.... "

    more here;
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/voyage...greenland.html


    The sudden disappearance of this civilisation has for long been a mystery, but late researc has stated that it probably was a few extreme cold winters on a row, and no summers between.

    The lifestock froze to death, and for those that survived, there were little to feed on. The wild game suffered also, so there must have been stride with the inuites about the little that still was available.

    more;
    http://www.europhysicsnews.com/full/.../article1.html

    But what we know, is that the population during this 400 years rised to a number about 5000. These were explorers of nature, and also of need, and they had to know their domain well.

    When we know that sailing form Norway to Iceland at best could take a week or two, often longer, sometimes shorter time, and sailing from Iceland to Greenland can be done in 2-3 days if good bearing and finding the streams. From Greenland it is again done to sail in 2-3 days if lucky, to reach the coast called Helland.

    We also know that all imported goods from the olde world was very expensive on Greenland, specially timber. I do not believe for a second that these brave pioners keept on paying bloodprice for a such basic good, when they could puchase all they wanted just just a few days of sailing south.

    They did not only sit there for 400 years, but according to their nature, they probably knew every inch of their local coasts, and the coasts and islands within reach must have been explored and well known to them. One reason that there is little documented on this, may be the need to keep traderoutes secret from competitors.

    But just a little logic. They knew Vinland and the way there for 400 years, does it sound logic that these never again visited Vinland after the Norse colonization at New Foundland collapsed? When they needed the goods, and it was as close as Iceland?

    According to norse mentality, it is very hard to believe that they should not have visited Vinland as often as they needed its goods.
    .

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    Norsemen at Havøy?

    Helge Ingstad, the man that documented the norse settlements in Vinland, did in no way have an easy match on his great work. For many years, before he found the remains at L'Anse aux Meadows' at New Foundland, he was not taken too seriously by many.

    Everybody knows that when shooting at something at distance, on have to aim higher than the target to compense for the gravitation and inertia. So let us in that spirit draw the lines a little bit longer, and speculate...

    The Northwesternpassage are as we know it today, blocked with ice. But that changes form century to century, and scientologist have reported that the ice is melting so rapidly now, that regular shiproutes will be actual through it within few years. This will herold manifold changes, in tradepatterns, prices, and on the monetary value of the surrounding areas. Also the real value of the land will rise, it will be possible for plants to grow, where there were only ice before.

    Also the ice of Greenland is melting, and that opens for taking out natural resources like oil, gas and minerals. Denmark and Canada are aware of this, and have the latest years enforced their claims. The Danes may sit back and relax and just watch the ice melting. It is calculated that this will reveal unthinkable treasures of oil and minerals. Norway may be rich today, but that will probably look quite modest related to what the danes may experience in 50-100 years from now:icon12: . If I had money for long term investments, I would consider to buy land at Greenland for my heirs.:

    But back to the Northwestern passage, it have not always been icy. We know that the climate in periods the latest 1000 years has been warmer than today.
    The passage may have been open, also during the 400 years of norse population on Greenland. I so, there is a chance that norsmen sailed through the passage, and continued south along the coast of Alaska. This is not exactly scientific, but in that case, it is not impossible that they may have drifted off into the Pacific ocean. And if so, it is not impossible that they even reached Hawaii....

    …“After drifting 90 days and nights south of the the strait, they reached a island with a volcano in the middle. Sweet fruits was growing wild everywhere, and the climate was very hot and wet. Thorne was the first to set his foot on this unbelieveable island, and he called it Havøy, because it was an island in the ocean.(Hav=sea, øy=island) later twisted to Hawaii.”

    Another possibility,
    “ After their journey to Vinland after more timber, they set the course northwards again. The timber was needed more than ever, cause the latest winters had been the coldest in mans memory. But as they sailed north, they found that the sea many places had frozen to ice, and made it impossible for them to return to Greenland. They decided to sail south again and make a camp for the winter, and then return and try again next spring. They sailed as far south that no norseman ever had been, the sea got warmer, and new and strange birds, animals and plants occurred.”
    It may be they liked it a lot, and did not bother to force through the ice again?
    But this is of course speculations, for the time.

    History are quite similar to icebergs, we can see a little bit of it, but the most of it remains unknown to us. There are so much more that we do not know, than we think we know. Helge Ingstad knew that, believed in himself, dedicated his time and efforts, and became one of the greatest explorers.

    This salute goes to Helge!
    .

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    The Little Ice Age was the main factor for the Norse decline on Greenland. Even on Iceland the conditions worsened at that time and the population shrunk in every respect - less people which were more and more often plagued by hunger, diseases etc. They became smaller, partly crippled and reduced (mostly modification obviously).

    Neither the Nordid type(s) in general nor the way of living the Norse had was appropriate for Iceland during the Little Ice Age. Even in parts of Europe, especially inner continental Europe, the deterioration was tremendous and might be one reason for reduction, infantilisation in some, Borealisation in other areas of Europe.

    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=44948
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agrippa
    The Little Ice Age was the main factor for the Norse decline on Greenland. Even on Iceland the conditions worsened at that time and the population shrunk in every respect - less people which were more and more often plagued by hunger, diseases etc. They became smaller, partly crippled and reduced (mostly modification obviously).

    Neither the Nordid type(s) in general nor the way of living the Norse had was appropriate for Iceland during the Little Ice Age. Even in parts of Europe, especially inner continental Europe, the deterioration was tremendous and might be one reason for reduction, infantilisation in some, Borealisation in other areas of Europe.

    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=44948
    Why did the population of Iceland recover so quickly, while other poplulations remain infantilised and reduced permanently?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 91711
    Why did the population of Iceland recover so quickly, while other poplulations remain infantilised and reduced permanently?
    Thats a good question and there are many factors to think about. One thing is for sure, it had an impact too but the direction of the selection was not that clear like f.e. in rural areas of continental Europe - especially those further away from coasts, rivers and other sources of food (fish, sea food), trade, etc. and bound as dependent peasants to their (in the Little Ice Age less productive) soil.
    One factor might be that the starting point was already a different one and another one that the whole sociocultural system was different and certain plagues, diseases not that important. But thats just speculation.
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    Christianity killed the Norse Greenland settlement

    I like the suggestion that Christianity, rather churchianity, killed the Greenland colonies.

    There are archaeological finds which demonstrate that very late in the settlement fashions were up to date with Danish standards and the largest buildings were churches. Middens, or trash holes, show that there was little wild game, birds or fish in the diets of later settlers. Had they become over-domesticated? Relying solely on cows, sheep and domestic animals, these grandchildren of vikings had forgotten how to survive. Also, hunting and fishing was seen as "heathen" and unbecoming of christians to follow in the ways of the Inuit savages or even their own ancestors folkways.

    I see similarities in the way modern Icelanders look at traditional modes of survival. In the light of all-important fashion, such hard work is seen as dirty and disgusting.

    Let Greenland be a lesson about attitudes toward what is important in life... all their prayers, religious trinkets and current 1400s fashions did little to preserve them. They forgot how to be vikings... and lost the means of living in accord with nature at its harshest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Iceland
    Let Greenland be a lesson about attitudes toward what is important in life...
    They forgot how to be vikings...
    and lost the means of living in accord with nature at its harshest.
    as a principle -
    i would agree with you,
    because i have seen children
    that are raised as the dominant predator
    .

    it is an improvement
    over children raised as homo domesticus.

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    Norsemen in the Pacific?

    Helge Ingstad, the man that documented the norse settlements in Vinland, did in no way have an easy match on his great work. For many years, before he found the remains at L'Anse aux Meadows' at New Foundland, he was not taken too seriously by many.

    Everybody knows that when shooting at something at distance, on have to aim higher than the target to compense for the gravitation and inertia. So let us in that spirit draw the lines a little bit longer, and speculate...

    The Northwesternpassage are as we know it today, blocked with ice. But that changes form century to century, and scientologist have reported that the ice is melting so rapidly now, that regular shiproutes will be actual through it within few years. This will herold manifold changes, in tradepatterns, prices, and on the monetary value of the surrounding areas. Also the real value of the land will rise, it will be possible for plants to grow, where there were only ice before.

    Also the ice of Greenland is melting,
    and that opens for taking out natural resources like oil, gas and minerals. Denmark and Canada are aware of this, and have the latest years enforced their claims. The Danes may sit back and relax and just watch the ice melting. It is calculated that this will reveal unthinkable treasures of oil and minerals. Norway may be rich today, but that will probably look quite modest related to what the danes may experience in 50-100 years from now . If I had money for long term investments, I would consider to buy land at Greenland for my heirs.

    But back to the Northwestern passage, it have not always been icy. We know that the climate in periods the latest 1000 years has been warmer than today.
    The passage may have been open, also during the 400 years of norse population on Greenland. I so, there is a chance that norsmen sailed through the passage, and continued south along the coast of Alaska. This is not exactly scientific, but in that case, it is not impossible that they may have drifted off into the Pacific ocean. And if so, it is not impossible that they even reached Hawaii....

    …“After drifting 90 days and nights south of the the strait, they reached a island with a volcano in the middle. Sweet fruits was growing wild everywhere, and the climate was very hot and wet. Thore was the first to set his foot on this unbelieveable island, and he called it Havøy, because it was an island in the ocean.(Hav=sea, øy=island) later twisted to Hawaii.”

    Another possibility,

    “ After their journey to Vinland after more timber, they set the course northwards again. The timber was needed more than ever, cause the latest winters had been the coldest in mans memory. But as they sailed north, they found that the sea many places had frozen to ice, and made it impossible for them to return to Greenland. They decided to sail south again and make a camp for the winter, and then return and try again next spring. They sailed as far south that no norseman ever had been, the sea got warmer, and new and strange birds, animals and plants occurred.”
    It may be they liked it a lot, and did not bother to force through the ice again?


    But this is of course speculations, for the time.

    History are quite similar to icebergs, we can see a little bit of it, but the most of it remains unknown to us. There are so much more that we do not know, than we think we know. Helge Ingstad knew that, believed in himself, dedicated his time and efforts, and became one of the greatest explorers.

    In November 1979 we spent a few days together at the mountain in Finnmark. It was about -30 celcius, but hot and cosy in the tent. We had long and interesting discussions. Helge Ingstad became 101 yers old. A great man!

    This salute goes to Helge!

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    What happen to the medieval Greenland colony?

    Ancient Greenland mystery has a simple answer, it seems
    Did the Norse colonists starve? Were they wiped out by the Inuit – or did they intermarry? No. Things got colder and they left.


    QASSIARSUK, Greenland - A shipload of visitors arrived in the fjord overnight, so Ingibjorg Gisladottir dressed like a Viking and headed out to work in the ruins scattered along the northern edge of this tiny farming village.

    Qassiarsuk is tiny (population: 56), remote, and short on amenities (no store, public restrooms, or roads to the outside world), but some 3,000 visitors come here each year to see the remains of Brattahlid, the medieval farming village founded here by Erik the Red around the year 985.

    When they arrive, Ms. Gisladottir, an employee of the museum, is there to greet them in an authentic hooded smock and not-so-authentic rubber boots. "There were more visitors this year than last," she says. "People want to know what happened to the Norse."

    The Greenland Norse colonized North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus "discovered" it, establishing farms in the sheltered fjords of southern Greenland, exploring Labrador and the Canadian Arctic, and setting up a short-lived outpost in Newfoundland.

    But by 1450, they were gone, posing one of history's most intriguing mysteries: What happened to the Greenland Norse?

    Continue reading;http://http://www.csmonitor.com/2007...3s01-stgn.html
    I'm sure some of them left the Greenland colony but where would they go? Conditions were also bad in Iceland & Norway which suffered steep populaton declines during the Little Ice Age. Would newcomers have been welcomed there? It's possible some of them went to North America & were obsorbed by Indian tribes.

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