Viking settlements in Greenland persisted for over 500 years, so why did they decide to leave ?
It's a question that has puzzled researchers for years. For several centuries the descendants of the Vikings etched out a living in settlements across Greenland only to pack up and abandon the country at the end of the 15th century. Some believe that disease and starvation may have pushed the settlers in to returning to their ancestral homes, but research in to what they left behind has shown that they would have had plenty to eat, switching to hunting seals when the Medieval Warm Period had come to an end.
Instead it is now believed that economic issues and isolation may have been the deciding factors in their return to Scandinavia. Increasingly cut off from their ancestral homes and finding it more and more difficult to attract traders, circumstances would have eventually become sufficiently intolerable to make returning to their homelands the only viable option.
"For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century."
View: Full article
Discuss: View comments (22)