Anthropology 2100 Lecture Notes - Thorvald Eiriksson, Greenland Saga, Sagas Of Icelanders

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Published on 1 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Anthropology
Course
Anthropology 2100
Professor
March, 22, 2013
European Contact Part I
Historical Archaeology in North America:
-Concerns the period of European contact, exploration, and settlement and includes contact period (historic) First
Nations sites, military sites (ex: Fort York), early European settlements, historic urban sites, pioneer farmsteads,
and sites of important historical figures
-There are branches such as plantation archaeology and Norse contact and settlement
The Norse in North America:
-The Norse reached North America between 900 and 1000 years ago and we get these dates from their
documentary records called the Icelandic Sagas which were written two centuries after the events they describe
-The document’s historical accuracy is questioned but it does show a cycle of accidental discovery, exploration and
colonization into places like the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland
-Bjarni Herjolfson in AD 986 voyaged to Newfoundland and the Labrador coast but there were other voyages by Ari
Marsson in AD 995, Bjorn Asbrandson in AD 998 and Gudlief Gudlaugsson in AD 1022 that are not authenticated
-It is the Greenlander’s Saga and Erik the Red’s Saga seem most accurate
-Eric the Red established Brattahlid in Greenland in 982 AD and Lief Erikson voyaged ca 1000 AD and he described
Helluland (Baffin Island), Markland (Labrador) and Vinland (Newfoundland) and he wintered at “Liefsbudir” in
Vinland and Thorvald Erikson voyaged ca 1002-5 but was killed by “skraelings”
-Thorfinn Karlsefni in included in the sagas conflict in the Greenlanders Saga where he winters at Liefsbudir, trades
with local Natives, is attacked, and returns to Greenland
-Erik the Red’s Saga combines two voyages where Thorfinn Karlsefni is accompanied by Thorvald Eriksson, builds
houses at Straumfiord (location unknown), they trade and fight with Natives, and Eriksson is killed by a uniped
-The dying Thorvald Eriksson said upon withdrawing an arrow from his stomach “There is fat around my belly! We
have won a fine and fruitful country, but we will hardly be able to enjoy it.”
L’Anse Aux Meadows Newfoundland ca 1000 AD:
-It is now a World Heritage Site and it could possibly be “Liefsbudir”
-It was excavated by Anne Ingstad in the 1960s and Parks Canada in the 1970s and there are houses associated
with metalworking, carpentry and boat repair and Norwegian pennies have been found at the Goddard site from
1065-1080 AD
Norse Artifacts in North America:
-Dorset contact is shown through European copper being found on Hudson’s Bay and Ungava Bay from 900-1000
AD and Thule contact is shown with artifacts on several sites from 1000 and 1300 AD and includes chain mail
armour, knife blades, and boat rivets
-A 13th century AD Thule carving shows a European man (believed to be European because of the robe like
clothing) and it was found on Baffin Island and it is 5.4 cm tall, carved in Thule “silhouette” style, and it has a cross
on the chest so it could possibly depict a priest and a Norse garment has also been found on a site in Greenland
The Rise of Complexity in Late Woodland Ontario:
Transitional Woodland 500-900 AD:
-There was a change from the elaborate Hopewell influenced Middle Woodland burials to more simple burial
practices and there is debate over the origins of Iroquoian groups (in situ development or migration?)
Material culture changes included change from coil-made conical-based pots to modelled globular pots and a
switch to small triangular projectile points like the Levanna point
Princess Point Complex:
-Their settlement patterns have differing interpretations and David Stothers says they had riverine or lakeside
“macroband” camps occupied from spring to fall and smaller inland “microband” camps occupied during the cold
season but David Smith and Gary Crawford argue that macrobands settled in permanent locations within the
Grand River valley with large sites on floodplain and smaller sites in upland areas
The Alder Creek Site:
-It has an upland location and there is faunal evidence for a cold season occupation with beaver and muskrat and
this conforms to the Stothers model
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Document Summary

Concerns the period of european contact, exploration, and settlement and includes contact period (historic) first. Nations sites, military sites (ex: fort york), early european settlements, historic urban sites, pioneer farmsteads, and sites of important historical figures. There are branches such as plantation archaeology and norse contact and settlement. The norse reached north america between 900 and 1000 years ago and we get these dates from their documentary records called the icelandic sagas which were written two centuries after the events they describe. The document"s historical accuracy is questioned but it does show a cycle of accidental discovery, exploration and colonization into places like the faroe islands, iceland, and greenland. Bjarni herjolfson in ad 986 voyaged to newfoundland and the labrador coast but there were other voyages by ari. Marsson in ad 995, bjorn asbrandson in ad 998 and gudlief gudlaugsson in ad 1022 that are not authenticated. It is the greenlander"s saga and erik the red"s saga seem most accurate.

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