Routes various Vikings traveled. (Source: McGovern and Perdikaris, 2000)
Climate Change and the End of the Vikings in Greenland
From the PBS series 'The Lost Vikings of Greenland'
In 985, Eric the Red set up the first Viking colony in Greenland. His descendants lived and farmed there for nearly five hundred years. But when the climate took a sharp turn for the worse, the Viking settlers were completely unprepared. Why didn't they learn from the arctic adaptations of their Inuit neighbors? The surprising answer lies in the religious teachings of their homeland.
The settlers in Greenland were the furthest extension of a Viking empire ruled from Scandinavia. They survived in Greenland for nearly four hundred years, remaining closely linked, culturally and religiously, to their relatives in Europe. They seemed to have very little contact with their most immediate neighbors, the Inuit.
We know from ice core sampling and dendrochronology that Greenland's climate grew colder during the middle of the fifteenth century. This is when a time known as "the Little Ice Age" began.
Graves at Herjolfsnes Church, dating from the middle of the fourteenth century, were found to contain clothing worn by one of the last generations of Vikings in Greenland. Men and women both dressed in long gowns with narrow sleeves, overcoats and stockings, and hooded capes. These were purely European styles and had not been adapted to fit the cold climate.
The clothing of the Inuit was much better suited to the harsh weather. Eight Inuit bodies, fully clothed and perfectly preserved by permafrost, were found in Greenland in 1972. They date from around 1475 and were dressed in heavy seal skin trousers, anoraks, and Kamiks; their high double-skin boots were stuffed with insulating grasses.
Clearly, the Inuit had mastered the art of living in the Arctic. They also knew how to hunt ring-seals during the winter, a crucial skill when other food sources were scarce. Their Viking neighbors never learned to hunt this way and so were at a loss when their crops failed and their cattle died.
In the end, the Vikings failed to adapt to the harsh conditions of the Little Ice Age and their settlements mysteriously vanished. The Inuit, however, were well prepared for the frozen landscape, and their descendants still inhabit Greenland today.
Posted September 6, 2009 by Lewis Loflin
- Fall of the Late Roman Empire
- End of the Vikings in Greenland
- Lost Colony of Roanoke Island
- Whale Fossils Unlock the History of the North
- Modern Humans Originate in Asia 80,000 Years Ago
- Hurricanes Versus Climate Change
- Dinosaur Extinction New Questions
- Massive Meteor Explosion Kills Stone Age America
- Mythical Flood or Meteor Strike?
- Useful Science Information on Climate Change Industry
- Climate Change Gravy Train on the Defensive
- Religion is Killing Children
- Science Proves Climate Change
- Debunking Panendeism
- Does Pantheism Lead to Leftism?
- Separation of Religion and State
- Disclosure Law Threatens EPA-Industrial Complex
- Al Gore Fusing Christianity to Environmentalism
- Green Religion Won't Save Appalachia
- Hypsithermal Warming Spreads Civilization
- Shockingly Rapid Climatic Shifts are Real
- How Warmer Climate Can Mean More Life
- Innovation and Technology Not Earth-Centered Religion Part 1
- Innovation and Technology Not Earth-Centered Religion Part 2
- Religious Fundamentalism Explained by Michael Crichton.
- Biocentrism vs. Science
- Science vs. Environmentalism
- Toxicity Of Environmentalism
- There's No Man-Made Global Mass Extinction
- Bikini Atoll Recovery From Nuclear Blasts
- Earth Going Green Environmentalists in Denial
- Ocean Acidification or Warming But Not Both
- Nuclear Power Green and Affordable
- Updated September 2017:
- Web Master
- Bristol, Southwest Virginia Revealed
- Science & Technology
- 2017 Website Updates & Deletions
- Hobby Electronics
- US Constitution
- Christianity 101
- Religious Themes
- Guestbook Archive
» Archive 1 » Archive 2 » Archive 3
» Archive 4 » Archive 5 » Archive 6
» Archive 7 » Archive 8 » Archive 9