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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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GREENLAND

May/June 2019

World Roundup GreenlandGREENLAND: Viking legend holds that Erik the Red devised the name “Greenland” in order to attract settlers to the notoriously cold island. A new study suggests the name wasn’t so misleading after all. By analyzing oxygen isotopes from flies trapped in ancient lake sediments, scientists concluded that summer temperatures on the island regularly reached 50°F during the age of Norse colonization (10th–15th centuries). When the climate cooled dramatically at the end of this period, the Norse settlements disappeared.

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