Why did Greenland’s Vikings disappear?

“Over the last decade, however, new excavations across the North Atlantic have forced archaeologists to revise some of these long-held views. An international research collective called the North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation (NABO) has accumulated precise new data on ancient settlement patterns, diet, and landscape. The findings suggest that the Greenland Norse focused less on livestock and more on trade, especially in walrus ivory, and that for food they relied more on the sea than on their pastures. There’s no doubt that climate stressed the colony, but the emerging narrative is not of an agricultural society short on food, but a hunting society short on labor and susceptible to catastrophes at sea and social unrest”.

In the latest issue of Science Eli Kintisch reviews the most recent work of colleagues in the North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation (NABO). Read the paper here, read more about NABO here and the Circumpolar Networks — understanding cultural and socio-environmental connections in the North Atlantic on a millennial scale here.