Physics Meets History in Solving Greenland Mystery
Submitted by Milica on Thu, 2002-11-21 15:27
Europhysics News: An extensive article on Carbon-14 dating of the Norsemen in Greenland appears in the
May/June 2002 issue of Europhysics News.
Scientists from Denmark and Iceland have been studying the Viking culture in
Greenland by using radiocarbon (C-14) dating. Of particular interest is the
changes in the diet of the settlers and how it affected their bones.
The Norse, from Norway and the northern British islands, brought civilization
to Iceland and Greenland sometime after 900 CE. Most were farmers who crossed
the sea and colonized the islands, bringing with them their families,
livestock, and culture, but by the 15th century, most seem to have disappeared
from the area. The new research hopes to find a reason for the disappearance,
using modern methods.