Disappearance in Greenland

Vikings in Iceland


Beginning in the early 9th century, Viking warriors from Scandinavia began sacking and plundering cities and towns throughout Europe. For the next 250 years, Norsemen, as they were also called, used their ships, which were shallow wooden vessels curved at both ends, to gather booty, raid other civilizations, and colonize as far east as Baghdad and as far west as Greenland. For a brief time, Vikings settlers even lived in Newfoundland. Historians are still unsure why the Vikings began their raids, though many theories have been advanced, such as overpopulation or climate-related food shortages. The decline of the Viking era is equally puzzling, though the spread of Christianity appears to have played a role.

» READ more about Vikings in Greenland

» READ more about Iceland and Vikings

Iron Works
A crude ironworks discovered by the archeologists at the abandoned Hrísheimar farm site are proving correct certain details of ancient. Icelandic Sagas.

Early in August a pagan grave was uncovered. Icelandic Sagas.

Jette Arneborg
Jette Arneborg of the National Museum of Denmark says the disappearance of Vikings from Greenland involves change in the climate and instability in the Viking culture in the colonies.

Viking Trash
A Viking garbage pile, or midden, was a central focus of an archeological dig this summer. Many animal bones and several human-made artifacts were recovered in a season of work.

Viking Clothing
See a slideshow of Viking clothing and remnants of several Viking ships.

Viking Ships
Viking ships are rugged vessels, designed to traverse rough seas. See a gallery of replica Viking ships.

Max Vinner
The far flung exploits of the Vikings were made possible by their sturdy, efficient ships. Historians have long been interested in what and how these long-past mariners sailed. Max Vinner, ship historian and author took part in a round-the-world test of a Viking-ship replica in 1984. Here, he discusses the ocean-going "knarr" style Viking ship and his experience sailing one from Iceland to Greenland.

Ship Building
Viking ships are complicated vessels made with primitive tools. See photos of the craft and work that go into building a Viking ship.

Vikings | Inuit | Wildlife | Ice Cores | Dispatches | Teacher Guides | Credits
© Copyright 2003, WBUR