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Greenland Culture: (I) The Norsemen*


    ACCOUNTS of the ill-fated Norse settlements in Greenland in medieval times, such as that recently published by Dr. Nörlund (see NATURE, 133, 949) have been based hitherto on the evidence afforded by the eastern settlement (now the district of Julianehaab), in which, thanks to the researches of the last fifty years, most problems of topography have been solved and the cultural history elucidated in no little detail by archaeological discovery. Of the western settlement, however, in the Godthaab District little was known either from literary sources or from archaeological investigation before the expeditions of the Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland, of which the results have been described recently by Dr. Aage Roussell. It was inferred, however, with reasonable certainty that the place now known as Kilaussarfik, visited by Daniel Brunn in 1904 and the site of Dr. Roussell's excavations in 1930, 1932 and 1934, was to be identified with Sandnes, and Ameralik Fjord with the ancient Lysufjordr, not least, perhaps, on account of the rarity of such a sandy formation on the rock-bound coast of Greenland. As, however, the area is being submerged rapidly, and 'the coast-line has changed considerably since the Middle Ages, this is by no means indisputable evidence.

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