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« Back to articles from category "Culture"

The following article was published in our article directory on April 11, 2013.
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Greenland's history.Facts about Greenland

Article Category: Culture

Author Name: Columbus Oreilly

According to the saga tradition came Eirik Raude to Greenland in 982, when he had as outlaw escaped from Iceland. After exploring the west coast for three years, he returned to Iceland. Eric should have called the country Greenland because he thought this name would be tempted to immigration. Approx. 986 he set according saga tradition again heading for Greenland, this time with an expedition of 25 vessels, hundreds of people, livestock and equipment. Emigrants settled on Greenland's west coast, and eventually emerged two villages, East Settlement in the south (Qaqortoq-/Julianehåb-distriktet), which was the largest, and Vesterbygd farther north (Nuuk-/Godthåb-distriktet). The people about Greenland lived by cattle raising, fishing and hunting, and also undertook long hunting expeditions north along the west coast of Greenland to the so-called Norðrseta, occasionally likely to Qimusseriarsuaq. In the 1000's the climate was favorable for migration, the land was green and relatively fertile.

Facts about Greenland history

Immigrants from Iceland met no older population in Greenland, but found trace of it. It is probable that at that time (ca. 1000) were Eskimos in northern Greenland. Here their dwellings are found, presumably from approx. 2000 BC, also on the west coast there are traces of a time far before of the Norse immigration. In the 1100s wandered Thule Eskimos of the Canadian archipelago over to Greenland's west coast and south west coast. They gradually came into contact with the Norsemen, and finally beat some of them down near the Norse settlements.

Trade between the Norse community in Greenland and Norway, Bergen city in the Middle Ages. The main export goods from Greenland were hides, skins, furs, walrus ivory and cloth, while the country was dependent on imports of grain, iron and wood. Immigration from Iceland and - to a lesser extent - from Norway continued beyond the 1000 - and 1100's, and in the 1200s reached the Norse community in Greenland a maximum settlement. It is found homesteads of more than 290 farms (220 in East Settlement and 70-75 in the West Settlement), and the population may have reached a figure of approx. 4000 people in the Middle Ages.

Christianity was introduced at the beginning of the 1000's (Tjodhildes (?) Church at Brattahlið). In 1124 got Brattahlið-chief Einar Sokkeson impacting of King Sigurd the Crusader that Greenland should have their own bishop, and the creation of Nidaros arch seat in 1153 became the Greenland diocese incorporated in the Norwegian church province. In Greenland it is discovered the ruins of 16 churches, 2 monasteries and Gardar diocese. The church was eventually handled significant properties (more than 1/3 of the properties in East Settlement) and a leading political position. It is not kept any written records from Greenland, but it found some inscriptions. These inscriptions show that runes may have been a common means of communication from the 1000's to the 1300's.
The Norse society in Greenland seems to have been arranged in the same manner as a Viking communities on the other Western Isles of things, the Court and its own laws. The move of the main things instead of Brattahlið to Garðar testify bishop growing political influence in Greenland.

In 1261 Greenland became according to an agreement with the Norwegian king Håkon formally linked to Norgesveldet. Greenlanders agreed to provide the Norwegian king taxes and fines for manslaughter, against the king on his side well Greenlanders have given approval for regular supplies of essential goods. The Norwegian king, at least in East Settlement owned royal estates, managed by an Ombudsman and thus secured himself a certain control of the Greenland trade.

In the 1300s, this trade provisioned with a single ship (Grønlandsknarren), and possibly the king sought with little success to monopolize trade in Greenland. The annual trade mission with Grønlandsknarren did not sustain after the Black Death. Eventually, the contact between Greenland and Iceland / Norway increasingly rare. After the last Norse bishop died in 1378, was touch greatly reduced. One of the last historical data from Greenland comes to a wedding in the church Hvalsoy 1408. While West Settlement in contemporary sources described as deserted by the mid 1300s, the people richer Austerbygd kept to approx. 1500. This is confirmed, among other things of the finds from the cemetery at Ikigait. Here's Witnesses costume findings about the influence of European fashion from the late 1400's. The tombs show that the last burials took place around the year 1500. People on a ship seeking refuge there in 1540, found no residents, only the body of a man lying as he had fallen.

The reasons why the Norse community in Greenland disappeared, is not clear. Theories is that 1) the break in the connection between Greenland and Iceland / Norway weakened Greenlanders to survive in a climate that was becoming harder, 2) heavy fighting with skrelingene (Eskimos), 3) famine due to crop failure and crop failure, 4) pest.

About the Author: COLUMBUS O´REILLY is an expert when it comes to GreenlandABOUT GREENLAND,GREENLAND, FACTS ABOUT GREENLAND. To find out everything about GREENLAND,ABOUT GREENLAND,FACTS ABOUT GREENLAND, visit his website at

Keywords: greenland,about greenland,facts about greenland

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