Greenland was a green land when the first settlers arrived, not in 1000 AD but around 980. The farms that grow on Greenland from Disco Bay (north of Western Settlement) mostly along the coast or close to fjords were compared with farms on Iceland and Norway/Sweden same time large farms.
A quick information re. farms on Greenland during Viking Age up to 1435.
Short info about farms in Western and Eastern Settlements.
While the main hall in the Eastern Settlements is around 56 m² the same type of hall in Western Settlement had a mean value of 28 m²,
as for the total mean of Byres: Eastern Settlements 87 m² and 27 m² in the Western Settlements,
Barns in Eastern Settlement had a total mean 85 m² and in Western Settlements the Barns had a total mean of 36 m²
Storeage mean also was lower in west as well.
Lets look at two of the farms in the west Greenland Settlements: Sandnes(W51) Hall 72 m², Byre 84 m² and Barn 155 m²; and Anavik(W7) Hall ?, Byre 50 m², Barn 54 m² and Storage 38 m². [McGovern, Table 6 Floor-area of selected structures of farms of the Eastern and Western Settlements, page 213.]
The barn and other outbuildings were so large that most non royal farms in Scandinavia during the Viking – Early Middle Ages should have been jealous of the surfaces and the number of stalls in the barn.
The Greenlanders exported butter (salted in the jar) and hard cheese (!) to Europe especially from 1100 up to 1435. There still exist documents showing these. Origins!
Up to late 1200’s the Greenlanders lived a good life. Then the King of Norway called for them to pay tax not only tithes to Church. That together with colder weather after a series large eruptions of vulcano in Greenland from 1280 up to 1341 made a drastic change in wealth and lifestyle. Up to 1410 they still had regular contacts with Europe – the last known expedition that returned with information that came to Papal Church knowledge was as late as 1521(!)
Up to the late 1200s Greenlanders really lived and lived well! Than the situation changed. Taxations and Tithes and the fact that numerous volcanic eruptions that drastically lowered the temperature in Greenland, and the entire Northern Hemisphere. Before 1341 temperature mean was several degrees warmer than today. Especially hot was the period up to the year 1200, but also later as the grown up apples in some places in Greenland.
The farm under the sand, also known as Garden under Sandet (GUS)
”Most of the Viking expansion took place During what scientists Refer to As The dimatic optima of the Medieval Warm Period dated about AD 800 to 1200 (Jones 1986: McGovern 1991); a general term for warm periods That Reached chere optima at different times across the North Atlantic (Groves and Switsur 1991). During this time the niean annual temperature for Southern Greenland was 1 to 3 ° C higher than today. ”Julie Megan Ross, Paleoethnobotanical Investigation of Garden Sandet In a Waterlogged Norse Farm Site. Western Settlement. Greenland (Kaiaallit Nunaata), University of Alberta, Department of Anthropology Edmonton. Alberta FA11 1997, pages 40
One of the most common pollens found during the excavation of the Garden in Sandet was Cyperaceae, if one reads Linnaeus, the virutella flora carefully so it would not have been able to be there at all … but .. it ought not bilberry, a, (Capsella bursa pastoris Rais) , crowberry or seed of different varieties .. either … not to mention that the birch and willow was common in the earliest and later settlement period. In the meantime, it was warmer. …
More facts re. Greenland from Viking Age up to 1435
”A part from a few isolated localities far south at Naujat in Fiskenæsfjorden and Eqaluitin Agdlumersat(where nodwellings have been found however), as well as a single farm at the head of Bulesefjord, the Norse Settlement in Western Settlements(Map II) is gathered quite closely around the innerbranches of Godthåbsfjord and Ameralik, as well as in the valleys that are connected with these fjords”. [Jansen Henrik, page 75.]
For more information re. Garden under Sandet please look at:
Sources: (Not everyone there is but for texts above)
Bull of Pope Anastasius IV
Diplomatarium Danicum, serie 1, II, no 1
Diplomatarium Norvegicum band 10 nr 9
Diplomatarium Norvegicum band 4 nr 128
Diplomatarium Norvegicum band 7 nr 103
Diplomatarium Norvegicum band 9 nr 84
Diplomatarium Norwegicum bind 1 nr 66 and 67.
Diplomatarium Norvegicum bind 1 nr 71
Diplomatarium Norvegicum bind 6 nr 36.
Icelandic Annals 1342 written down in 1637 by Bishop Gisle Odds
Ivar Bardarson, Det gamle Grønlands beskrivelse af Ívar Bárðarson (Ivar Bårdssön), ed. Finnur Jónsson (København, 1930).
Nicholars of Thingeyres documents to the Papal See
Ordericus Vitalis, Historiske besetninger om Normanner og Angelsaxere fra Orderik Vitals kirkehistorie I-III. Edited in 1889
Arneborg J, Norbverne i Grönland 1988
Jansen Henrik M,A critical account of the written and archaeological sources’ evidence concerning the Norse settlements in Greenland, Meddelelser om Grönland 182:4, 1972
Mason Ronaldy, Great Lakes Archaeology, NY 1981
McGovern Thomas H., Bones, Building and Boundaries: Palaeoeconomic Approaches to Norse Greenland
Rousell A, Farms and churches in the Medieval Norse settlement of Greenland, Meddelelser of Grönland 86(1).
The Roman Church in Norse Greenland, editor G F Bigelow, ”The Norse of the North Atlantic, Acta Archaeologica 61(1991) page 142-150 Köpenhamn