Report: Vikings ‘abandoned Greenland due to loneliness and limited foods’

viking shipResearchers have a new theory on why the Vikings ultimately decided to abandon Greenland after five centuries. The news comes via a report recently published in the Journal of the North Atlantic, in which scientists claim that the infamous group of explorers may have simply got tired of the isolation of Greenland and having to survive almost exclusively on seal meat.

The theory is the result of a new Danish-Canadian project, for which scientists carried out isotope analysis on the bone remnants of Vikings and the animals that were living beside them.

Longstanding theories as to why the Vikings chose to leave the icy landmass suggested that starvation amid a mini ice age and ongoing battles with the local Inuit population were the central causes of the uprooting.

Research leader Niels Lynnerup, an anthropologist from the University of Copenhagen, told the media that he believes they may have had a wealth of food, but added, “perhaps they were just sick and tired of living at the ends of the earth and having almost nothing but seals to eat,” The Daily Mail reports.

Lynnerup and his team reported that upon analysing the bones, results suggested that the Viking population had eaten well when the colder period hit by sourcing food (primarily seals) from the sea, as cattle could no longer survive in the harsh conditions.

Finally, the team said that it appears that women of child-bearing age may have led the exodus, as very few were found alongside the remains of their male counterparts in the region’s cemeteries.

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