Europeanization of sub-arctic environments: perspectives from Norse Greenland's outer fjords

Kirsty A. Golding, Ian A. Simpson*, Clare A. Wilson, Emily C. Lowe, J. Edward Schofield, Kevin J. Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Europeanization of sub-Arctic environments by Norse communities in Greenland, from the early 11th to mid 15th centuries AD, varied spatially and temporally, with pastoral agriculture and associated homefield management at the heart of this transformation. This process is poorly understood for the outer fjord areas of Norse Greenland and from this locality we contribute a homefield soils and sediments-based analysis. Our findings identify a recipe effect - the partitioning of turf, domestic animal manure and domestic waste resources used to manage soil fertility, field irrigation channels and the effects of eroded material deposition in the homefield. These management practices increased soil macro-nutrient status relative to pre-settlement concentration in some areas of the homefield whilst macro-nutrient concentrations in other areas of the homefield were allowed to decline. We suggest that where resources were limited, sustainable intensification could only be achieved in some areas of the homefield with other areas managed unsustainably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume43
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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Keywords

  • Anthrosols
  • Europeanization
  • Norse Greenland
  • Sub-Arctic
  • Sustainable intensification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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