Answer to Question #179080 in History for Feby Abraham

Question #179080

 the Norse archaeological site at L'Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland in Canada

Why was Vinland abandoned? In answering this, consider multiple factors because there is no single reason. That said, a complete answer must factor in the migratory nature of Norse society as well as their interactions with the indigenous Inuit peoples.  

Expert's answer

The settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows served as an exploration base and winter camp for expeditions heading south. The sagas suggest that the Vinland occupation eventually failed because of conflicts both among the Vikings themselves and with the native people they encountered. Vinland lacked other essentials: luxury metals, spices, textiles, weapons, and armour, and family, political, religious, and personal connections. Another factor that prevented the Norse from establishing a permanent colony in Vinland was the presence of aboriginal peoples.

The migratory nature of Norse society was associated with the harsh cold conditions of the western Atlantic as well as the decline of trade in the region with the natives, the Inuit. Sometimes, the interaction between the Norse and Inuit was sparse, at times hostile, and could have possibly doomed the Greenland colonies to extinction.

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