Saturday, January 12, 2013

Leaving Greenland

What happened to the Vikings who settled in Greenland? Did they starve or leave? New evidence suggests that they did adapt to hunting seafood so that they did not starve. Rather, they could not preserve the way of life that they preferred so they left:
"But, without trade, they couldn't survive in the long run."
In the final phase, it was young people of child-bearing age in particular who saw no future for themselves on the island. The excavators found hardly any skeletons of young women on a cemetery from the late period.
"The situation was presumably similar to the way it is today, when young Greeks and Spaniards are leaving their countries to seek greener pastures in areas that are more promising economically," Lynnerup says. "It's always the young and the strong who go, leaving the old behind."

The piece is from SpiegelOnline.