Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Norse colonization of the Americas

Norse sailors, often referred to as Vikings, explored and settled areas of the North Atlantic, including the northeast fringes of North America, beginning in the 10th century. While this settlement process did not have the lasting effects that later settlements and conquests would have, it can be seen as a prelude to wide-scale European settlement in the Americas.

The Viking activities are often erroneously described as the Viking colonization of North America, but there are few findings to support the idea that the Vikings colonized North America, except for Greenland which they occupied for almost 500 years . Outside Greenland, though, the Viking settlements only grew to a small size and never fully developed into permanent colonies, partly because of hostile relations with Native Americans, whom the Norse referred to as Skr├Žlings. In turn, the Viking exploited the natural resources such as furs and lumber. Lumber, in particular, was in short supply in Norse Greenland, due to deforestation.

No comments: