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Article

Norse–Inuit interaction and landscape change in southern Greenland. A geochronological, pedological and palynological investigation

Citation
Golding KA, Simpson I, Schofield JE & Edwards KJ (2011) Norse–Inuit interaction and landscape change in southern Greenland. A geochronological, pedological and palynological investigation. Geoarchaeology, 26 (3), pp. 315-345. https://doi.org/10.1002/gea.20351

Abstract
Ruins representing both medieval Norse and Inuit (Thule culture) settlements can be found together on the coast at Sandhavn (59°59′ N, 44°46′ W), Greenland. The site presents a rare opportunity to investigate the character of past contact and interaction between these two peoples. Soils-based, radiocarbon, and palynological analyses demonstrate the creation of hortic anthrosols within Norse home-fields used between the mid-11th and late 14th centuries A.D. Irrigation channels have been identified within the home-fields, while rising grass pollen influx reveals intensification in hay production over the period ca. A.D. 1260-1350 despite climatic deterioration setting in around this time. Floor deposits and wall packing from an Inuit winter house returned dates of cal. A.D. 1220-1290 (2σ), yet no direct landscape-based evidence for Inuit activity could be determined. Although the exact nature of the relationship between Norse and Thule at Sandhavn remains unclear, the role of this site as a harbor and possible trading area may have attracted Inuit settlers keen to participate in European trade networks.

Journal
Geoarchaeology: Volume 26, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Author(s)Golding, Kirsty A; Simpson, Ian; Schofield, J Edward; Edwards, Kevin J
Publication date31/05/2011
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/19680
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0883-6353
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