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MoG Man & Society vol. 18             Order this book on-line

C L. Vebæk, 1993
Narsaq a Norse landnáma farm
85 pp., 103 figs., 7 tables. 225 DKK.

This publication only deals with the archaeological results of the excavations which the author carried out at the Norse farm registered as Ø 17a, Narsaq, in the Norse Eastern Settlement. The excavations took place in the years 1954, 1958 and 1962, and although three expeditions were devoted to this farm alone, we actually only succeeded in excavating the dwelling of the farm. The author very much regrets that the whole farm was not investigated. But it gives me some satisfaction to be able to say that the results of the excavation of the dwelling can be considered very important and interesting. We were able to ascertain that the dwelling was a long-house with rooms in one single row, and that it represented (at least) two building periods, and very possibly more. Furthermore, we found in the house a quite unique combined water-supply and draining system for the rooms, representing two or three building periods. Among the many finds of objects of all kinds there were a number made of wood and stone with runic inscriptions among them a unique, very long rune-stick. Besides the objects with runic inscriptions there were quite a number of fragments of textiles some of them never seen before in Greenland and there were many ornamented objects of bone, tusk and wood. Among the tools and weapons there was a fine series of arrowheads of caribou antler. A considerable number of the objects found permit a dating in the late viking/very early medieval age in other words the landnáma- period. And this dating (c. 1000 AD) is confirmed by radiocarbon analyses. Finally it must be mentioned that there were also a great many animal bones.
It will easily be understood that this comprehensive material needed the cooperation of several specialists, so there will be separate sections in this book: on runic inscriptions, on textiles, on radiocarbon datings, and on animal bones. My collaborators have been Marie Stoklund and Else Østergaard from Denmark. Penelope Walton Rogers from England, and Thomas H. McGovern, Thomas Amorosi, Gerald Bigelow, James Woollett, and Sophia Perdikaris from the United States.