Lessons of the Norse Greenlanders (1) — conjunctures

Thomas McGovern, archaeologist

In the first of a series of four linked Bifrost Insights, archaeologist Thomas McGovern discusses the well known but imperfectly understood case of the Norse Greenlanders and the role that climate change and other factors played in the curious fate of their society. He discusses in particular the significance of conjunctures in the eventual collapse of the Norse Greenlandic society, which was founded with a significant population at the tail end of the Viking Age, supporting more than one settlement and eventually seeing the establishment of a Bishopric, only to be gone mysteriously from Greenland just 500 years later. It is a story with unexpected turns and multiple dimensions that are unpacked in a series of four Insight installments.


Bifrost gratefully acknowledges the leadership of the sustainability education project Svartarkot Culture Nature and the research networks NIES and NABO for all their valuable support and work behind the scenes that helped make the interview excerpted in this video possible. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to the Kiðagil Guesthouse, where the interview was filmed.