Historical Human Ecology of the Faroe Islands

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the context of the North Atlantic arena, the histories and landscape evolution of the Faroe Islands are comparatively less known. The position of the archipelago astride cyclonic tracks and the predominantly rugged terrain with meagre woodland and limited high quality agricultural land, conspired to produce an environment which might be thought to have severely challenged early colonizers. Those settlers, whether Norse/Vikings, or earlier Irish monks, had access to the vital resources of bird cliffs, rivers, and the sea to supplement the produce of their domestic animals and crops. The lack of apparent crises is a function both of the richness of the resources provided by the Faroe Islands, and of the development of appropriate land management practices such as outfield grazing and soil augmentation to counteract any detrimental effects arising from, for instance, reductions in the bird population, soil and slope erosion, the lack of naturally fertile soils, and any climatic downturn. From the research contained within this volume, it seems likely that there have always been sufficient resources available for an enterprising human population and that the Faroes did not exceed their carrying capacity during the Norse period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-651
Number of pages139
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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social ecology
resource
resources
bird
soil
landscape evolution
lack
carrying capacity
cliff
land management
archipelago
supplement
erosion
woodland
management practice
agricultural land
grazing
animal
river
crop

Keywords

  • Faroe Islands
  • human ecology
  • paleoenvironments
  • Norse

Cite this

Historical Human Ecology of the Faroe Islands. / Edwards, Kevin John (Editor).

In: Human Ecology, Vol. 33, No. 5, 10.2005, p. 513-651.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

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