A multiple profile approach to the palynological reconstruction of Norse landscapes in Greenland's Eastern Settlement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Palynological research is increasingly revealing the landscape impacts of Norse colonisation in southern Greenland. Typically, although not exclusively, these studies are from depositional environments with highly localised pollen source areas close to fjord-side centres of medieval power. In contrast, this paper presents data from Vatnahverfi, an inland district of the Eastern Settlement, and explores the emergence of a cultural landscape through three pollen sequences at variable distances from Norse farms. Two are from mires with small pollen source areas close to (< 100 m) and distant from (≥ 1500 m) probable farming activities. The other provides a more regional signal of vegetation change, albeit one located close to a Norse settlement. Landnám is marked primarily through an increase in microscopic charcoal and the appearance of pollen from Rumex acetosella, although significant differences between profiles are noted. Close to Norse ruins, pollen productivity from grassland communities increases and woodland and scrub representation declines. Further from archaeological remains, palynologically inferred human activity is primarily characterised by decreased productivity, notably declining influx from woodland and scrub species, reflecting grazing herbivores or coppicing. Abandonment of Vatnahverfi is indicated from the late 14th to early 15th century AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume82
Issue number1
Early online date9 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • paleoecology
  • Norse Eastern Settlement
  • Landnam
  • pollen
  • Greenland
  • grazing
  • woodland management
  • cultural landscape
  • pollen influx

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A multiple profile approach to the palynological reconstruction of Norse landscapes in Greenland's Eastern Settlement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this