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Wood Culture and Technology in the Greenland Norse Society, 10th-15th Century

Wood Culture and Technology in the Greenland Norse Society, 10th-15th Century

Paper given by Elie Pinta

Delivered at the 3rd International St Magnus Conference: ‘Visualising the North’, Orkney Islands, April 2016

Norse people reached Greenland in 985 AD, settling two main areas known as the Eastern and Western Settlements. Despite a relatively poor wooded environment, well preserved archaeological collections show timbers were often used, suggesting Norse people found multiple ways to acquire the wood they needed. The analysis of everyday life containers combining xylology and dendrometry with typology and technology, provides renewed information regarding timber resources management in Norse Greenland. Results show that Norse craftsmen used at least five species from both local and imported sources, which they carefully selected in accordance with the type of container and their needs.

Elie Pinta is a PhD candidate in archaeology at the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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