For four centuries, Greenland was a reliable Viking outpost. Two settlements, one near the southern tip and the other a little further down the coast, hosted a small but vibrant Norwegian colonial community.
Previously, it is known that Greenland was home to ancient sailors for several centuries. But at the end of the 15th century, the Vikings disappeared from the island without a trace. The reasons for their sudden departure remain one of the greatest mysteries in northern history.
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In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists suggest that rising sea levels may have played a more important role in the Viking escape than previously thought. But that was probably not the only factor that made them leave the house.
Vikings first landed in Greenland in AD 985. to. Led by legendary explorer Eric Rudy, who was expelled from Iceland for killing several people in a conflict. With a small group of followers, he went to Greenland to establish a new settlement known as Eystribygð or the Eastern Settlement.
Over the next few centuries, the Eastern Settlement prospered, with farms concentrated along the coast. Vikings even hunted walruses to secure the more advanced European ivory trade each time.
But the last record the Vikings left in Greenland concerns a wedding that took place at the same time in the Eastern Settlement. Radiocarbon analysis shows they were there for about half a century.
The reason why the Vikings left Greenland and the resulting worsening of conditions remains a controversial issue, according to the authors of a new study. Previous research has suggested several theories for their separation, including encounters with Inuit settlements, climate change and trade issues.
To shed light on this historical mystery, the researchers modeled how the ocean changed during the Viking era. They found that environmental changes, particularly rising sea levels, played an important role in the disappearance of ancient sailors from Greenland.
During the Little Ice Age, which took place from about AD 1250 to 1900, a worsening climate caused the Greenland Ice Sheet to expand, causing the nearby landmass to be flooded under the weight of glaciers. As a result, coastal Viking settlements were vulnerable to frequent flooding, making life in these areas nearly impossible.
Using data from previous archaeological and geological surveys, the team built a computer model to show how sea levels changed from the beginning to the end of Viking life in Greenland. They found that the water rose 3.3 meters during the period when ancient people lived in the Eastern Settlement.
Most of the known Viking habitats were within 500-1000 meters of the flood zone, making them more vulnerable to flooding beyond the hinterland. The frequency of floods made farming and animal husbandry increasingly difficult, leading to a gradual change in the Viking diet that began to include more sea creatures and fewer animals on land.
The researchers suggest that years of major flooding will have a domino effect on Greenland’s population and contribute to worsening quality of life. And for its part, it would make the island an increasingly less attractive place to live.
While it is difficult to assess the relative impact of rising sea levels on other factors that led the Vikings to leave Greenland, this study provides a deeper understanding of the complex history behind the mysterious disappearance of the Vikings.
Previously Focus He talked about a unique piece of work. Archaeologists have unearthed a counterfeit Viking Age coin that testifies to relations with the Islamic world.
We also wrote that ancient humans ate not only mammoths and other land animals. They started cooking giant snails about 170,000 years ago.
Ashley Fitzgerald is an accomplished journalist in the field of technology. She currently works as a writer at 24 news breaker. With a deep understanding of the latest technology developments, Ashley’s writing provides readers with insightful analysis and unique perspectives on the industry.