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Monday, May 26, 2014

Sustainable But Extinct Medieval European Society In Greenland. Climate Influenced Changing Economic Strategies Of The Norse Settlements

43rd International Arctic Workshop, Amherst, Mass., March 1113, 2014

Konrad Smiarowski1Thomas H. McGovern2Jette Arneborg3, and Christian Madsen4

1CUNY Graduate School
2CUNY Hunter College
3Danish National Museum
4Copenhagen University
Recent archaeological excavations of Norse sites in Greenland concentrated on midden deposits in the Eastern Settlement, to better understand the subsistence and economic strategies of this part of the colony. Multiple excavations resulted in zooarchaeological collections that are still under analysis, but preliminary results indicate complex patterns of sustainable, long term natural resource management in this part of Norse Greenland.
The large ratios of seal bones in the archaeological contexts (both coastal and far inland) suggest a large-scale, communally organized hunt. In the natural environment, the numbers of available seals (migratory and local species) tend to change periodically on a local scale, usually caused by various climatic shifts. Results of such variations have been observed in the zooarchaeological record, creating an excellent proxy data for reconstruction of the human-environment interactions through time. This archaeofauna reflects on past Norse economic organization and communal management of natural resources over time, with a major change caused by the 13th century climatic fluctuation and changing geopolitics of mainland Europe.
Dugmore, A. J., Keller, C., and McGovern, T. H. 2007a. The Norse Greenland settlement: Reflections on climate change, trade and the contrasting fates of human settlements in the Atlantic islands, Arctic Anthropology, 44(1), 1237.
Ogilvie, A. E. J., Woollett, J. M., Smiarowski, K., Arneborg, J., Troelstra, S., Kuijpers, A., Pálsdóttir, A., and McGovern, T. H. 2009. Seals and sea ice in medieval Greenland, Journal of the North Atlantic, 2(1), 60–80.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Sustainable But Extinct Medieval European Society"