Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

High resolution paleoenvironmental and chronological investigations of Norselandnámat Tasiusaq, Eastern Settlement, Greenland

  • Kevin J. Edwards (a1), J. Edward Schofield (a2) and Dmitri Mauquoy (a2)
Abstract

High-resolution paleoenvironmental data from a peat profile with a small pollen source area are used to reconstruct the impacts oflandnámon vegetation and soils at a Norse farm complex (∅2 at Tasiusaq) comprising two farms in the Eastern Settlement of Greenland. Analyses include the AMS14C dating of plant macrofossil samples and the use of Bayesian radiocarbon calibration to construct improved age–depth models for Norse cultural horizons. The onset of a regionallandnámmay be indicated by the clearance ofBetula pubescenswoodland immediately prior to local settlement. The latter is dated to AD 950–1020 (2σ) and is characterised by possible burning ofBetula glandulosascrub to provide grassland pasture for domestic stock. Clearance and grazing resulted in accelerated levels of soil erosion at a westerly farm. This was followed by an easterly migration of settlement and agriculture. Site constraints prevent an assessment of the demise of the easterly farm, but pressures of overgrazing and land degradation may have been the major factors responsible for the abandonment of the earlier farm.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Fax: +44 1224 272331.E-mail address: kevin.edwards@abdn.ac.uk (K.J. Edwards).
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Arneborg , J. Heinemeier , N. Lynnerup , H.L. Nielsen , N. Rud , A.E. Sveinbjörnsdóttir , (1999). Change of diet of the Greenland Vikings determined from stable carbon isotope analysis and 14C dating of their bones. Radiocarbon 41, 157168.

L.K. Barlow , J.P. Sadler , A.E.J. Ogilvie , P.C. Buckland , T. Amorosi , J.H. Ingimundarson , P. Skidmore , A.J. Dugmore , T.H. McGovern , (1997). Interdisciplinary investigations of the end of the Norse Western Settlement in Greenland. The Holocene 7, 489499.

H.J.B. Birks , J.M. Line , (1992). The use of rarefaction analysis for estimating palynological richness from Quaternary pollen-analytical data. The Holocene 2, 110.

J.E. Box , (2002). Survey of Greenland instrumental temperature records: 1873–2001. International Journal of Climatology 22, 18291847.

R.H.W. Bradshaw , (1981). Modern pollen-representation factors for woods in south-east England. Journal of Ecology 69, 4570.

C. Bronk Ramsey , (1995). Radiocarbon calibration and analysis of stratigraphy: the OxCal program. Radiocarbon 37, 425430.

C. Bronk Ramsey , (2001). Development of the radiocarbon program OxCal. Radiocarbon 43, 355363.

C.E. Buck , T.F.G. Higham , D.J. Lowe , (2003). Bayesian tools for tephrochronology. The Holocene 13, 639647.

M.J. Church , S.V. Arge , S. Brewington , T.H. McGovern , J.M. Woollett , S. Perdikaris , I.T. Lawson , G.T. Cook , T. Amundsen , R. Harrison , Y. Krivogorskaya , E. Dunbar , (2005). Puffins, pigs, cod and barley: palaeoeconomy at Undir Junkarinsfløtti, Sandoy, Faroe Islands. Environmental Archaeology 10, 179197.

A.J. Dugmore , A.J. Newton , G. Larsen , G.T. Cook , (2000). Tephrochronology, environmental change and the Norse settlement of Iceland. Environmental Archaeology 5, 2134.

A.J. Dugmore , M.J. Church , P.C. Buckland , K.J. Edwards , I. Lawson , T.H. McGovern , E. Panagiotakopulu , I.A. Simpson , P. Skidmore , G. Sveinbjarnardóttir , (2005). The Norse landnám on the North Atlantic islands: an environmental impact assessment. Polar Record 41, 2137.

A.J. Dugmore , D.M. Borthwick , P.C. Buckland , M.J. Church , A. Dawson , K.J. Edwards , C. Keller , P. Mayewski , T.H. McGovern , K.-A. Mairs , G. Sveinbjarnardóttir , (2007). The role of climate in landscape and settlement change in the North Atlantic islands: an assessment of cumulative deviations in high-resolution proxy climate records. Human Ecology 35, 169178.

K.J. Edwards , D. Borthwick , G. Cook , A.J. Dugmore , K.-A. Mairs , M.J. Church , I.A. Simpson , W.P. Adderley , (2005a). A hypothesis-based approach to landscape change in Suðuroy, Faroe Islands. Human Ecology 33, 621650.

K.J. Edwards , I.T. Lawson , E. Erlendsson , A.J. Dugmore , (2005b). Landscapes of contrast in Viking Age Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Landscapes 6, 6381.

B. Fredskild , (1992). Erosion and vegetational changes in South Greenland caused by agriculture. Geografisk Tidsskrift 92, 1421.

J.P. Grime , J.G. Hodgson , R. Hunt , (1988). Comparative plant ecology: a functional approach to common British species. Unwin Hyman, London.

E.C. Grimm , (1987). CONISS: a FORTRAN 77 program for stratigraphically constrained cluster analysis by the method of incremental sum of squares. Computers and Geoscience 13, 1335.

S. Hicks , H. Hyvärinen , (1999). Pollen influx values measured in different sedimentary environments and their palaeoecological implications. Grana 38, 228242.

M.O. Hill , H.G. Gauch Jr., (1980). Detrended Correspondence Analysis: an improved ordination technique. Vegetatio 42, 4758.

G.L. Jacobson , R.H.W. Bradshaw , (1981). The selection of sites for paleovegetational studies. Quaternary Research 16, 8096.

P.C. Jowsey , (1966). An improved peat sampler. New Phytologist 65, 245248.

E. Mäkelä , H. Hyvärinen , (1998). Holocene vegetation history at Vätsäri, Inari Lapland, northeastern Finland, with special reference to Betula . The Holocene 10, 7585.

A. Moberg , D.M. Sonechkin , K. Holmgren , N.M. Datsenko , W. Kárlen , (2005). Highly variable northern hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data. Nature 433, 613617.

E. Panagiotakopulu , P. Skidmore , P.C. Buckland , (2007). Fossil insect evidence for the end of the Western Settlement in Norse Greenland. Naturwissenschaften 94, 300306.

W.A. Patterson , K.J. Edwards , D.J. Maguire , (1987). Microscopic charcoal as a fossil indicator of fire. Quaternary Science Reviews 6, 323.

P.J. Reimer , M.G.L. Baillie , E. Bard , A. Bayliss , J.W. Beck , C.J.H. Bertrand , P.G. Blackwell , C.E. Buck , G.S. Burr , K.B. Cutler , P.E. Damon , R.L. Edwards , R.G. Fairbanks , M. Friedrich , T.P. Guilderson , A.G. Hogg , K.A. Hughen , B. Kromer , G. McCormac , S. Manning , C. Bronk Ramsey , R.W. Reimer , S. Remmele , J.R. Southon , M. Stuiver , S. Talamo , F.W. Taylor , J. van der Plicht , C.E. Weyhenmeyer , (2004). IntCal04 terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 0–26 Cal Kyr BP. Radiocarbon 46, 10291058.

P. Sandgren , B. Fredskild , (1991). Magnetic measurements recording Late Holocene man-induced erosion in S. Greenland. Boreas 20, 315331.

J.E. Schofield , K.J. Edwards , A.J. McMullen , (2007). Modern pollen-vegetation relationships in subarctic southern Greenland and the interpretation of fossil pollen data from the Norse landnám . Journal of Biogeography 34, 473488.

M. Stuiver , P.M. Grootes , T.F. Braziunas , (1995). The GISP2 δ 18O climate record of the past 16,500 years and the role of the sun, ocean, and volcanoes. Quaternary Research 44, 341354.

A.W. Swain , (1978). Environmental changes during the past 2000 years in north-central Wisconsin: analysis of pollen, charcoal, and seeds from varved lake sediments. Quaternary Research 10, 5568.

J.C. Tweddle , K.J. Edwards , N.R.J. Fieller , (2005). Multivariate statistical and other approaches for the separation of cereal from wild Poaceae pollen using a large Holocene dataset. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 14, 1530.

B. van Geel , J. Buurman , O. Brinkkemper , J. Schelvis , A. Aptroot , G. van Reenen , T. Hakbijl , (2003). Environmental reconstruction of a Roman Period settlement site in Uitgeest (The Netherlands), with special reference to coprophilous fungi. Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 873883.

D. Yeloff , K.D. Bennett , M. Blaauw , D. Mauquoy , U. Sillasoo , J. van der Plicht , B. van Geel , (2006). High precision 14C dating of Holocene peat deposits: a comparison of Bayesian calibration and wiggle-matching approaches. Quaternary Geochronology 1, 222235.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 13 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 45 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 1st May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.