Environment and Identity in the Viking Age North Atlantic

Author(s): Orri Vesteinsson

Year: 2015


The cultures that arose in the North Atlantic during the Viking Age - the Scottish Isles, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland - were emphatically Norse in their ethnic signalling. Yet the environments of these islands, especially the more westerly ones, were significantly different from Scandinavia or Britain and supported quite different lifeways, different economic strategies, settlement patterns and material cultures. Focusing on Iceland and Greenland the paper aims to highlight the tension between environment and cultural identity asking whether there is a point at which a peripheral environment becomes so different from that of the core that it cannot sustain the same culture. Based on the study of settlement patterns the paper suggests ways in which archaeological data can be used to assess cultural divergence.

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Cite this Record

Environment and Identity in the Viking Age North Atlantic. Orri Vesteinsson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395893)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;