Norse Greenland dietary project - Norse Greenland isotope project

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Parent Project Details
Parent Project Title:Norse Greenland dietary project
Sub Projects: Ruin site 47 Bishop's see Gardar

Project Details

Title:Norse Greenland dietary project - Norse Greenland isotope project
Abstract:An initial study of the d13 C values for human bone collagen of 27 Norse Greenlanders in the late 1990\'s suggested a change in the Norse diet from predominantly terrestrial food to predominantly marine food.

The shift may indicate a change in diet; the question left open in the limited initial isotope study was however whether the change in diet is a reflection of altered subsistence strategies or altered farming practises. Furthermore, the first study did not convincingly answer the question as to whether the shift in diet occurred gradually over time or within a few years – and in the last case: when? Also, the limited study did not answer questions such as dietary differences between the two Norse settlements, between individual farms, between the sexes and what kind of marine food was digested. Distinguishing local born from foreign (immigrants?) people is yet another matter of discussion.

This new study includes 437 samples. 183 samples are from human bones - 118 are Norse and 65 are Inuit – and 254 samples are from animal bones. The samples are from 19 Norse sites (= farms), 13 are from the Eastern Settlement and six are from the Western Settlement. For comparison, we have also included samples of both humans and animals from 22 Inuit sites.

Manuscripts submitted to Journal of the North Atlantic fall 2009.

Sponsors/Funders: Carlsberg Foundation
National Museum of Denmark
Project Start Year:1998
Projected End Year:2009

Account Owner

Contact: Jette Arneborg
Postal Address: Frederiksholms Kanal 12
Post Code: DK-1220 COPENHAGEN K
Telephone: +45 3347 3441

Project extent

North East Coordinates: 65.21989°N, 42.53906°W
South West Coordinates: 59.62333°N, 52.73437°W