"From Snefelsness in Iceland, to Greenland(,) the shortest way: two days and three nights Sailing due west. In…the sea there are reefs called Gunbiernershier(,) That was the old route, but now the ice is come from the north, so close to the reefs that none can sail by the old route without risking his life." written by A NORWEGIAN PRIEST, IVAR BARDSSON, FROM GREENLAND SOMETIME BETWEEN 1341 and 1364,(Ladurie, 1971.)
Why did the viking greenlanders disappear? Is it possible that they could have survived and even thrived if they had not lost contact with scandinavia during a cold period? the loss of contact could have been the defining causal factor in their demise because if it had been maintained the other hardships could have been overcome and eventually the civilization would have flourished again.
The role of trade and loss of social contact to motherland scandinavia
The decline of trade between the Norse Greenlanders and the Scandinavian countries they relied upon for supplies, commerce, and social support was a significant causal factor for the collapse of their society. The role that the deterioration of trade played in the demise of the Norse Greenlanders is of importance and bears a more remarkable impact upon their downfall than any other factor. Trade’s unique role applies to the conclusion that if it had persisted it would have made it possible for the Greenlanders to weather difficulties from other pressures. Trade was an essential exchange that provided necessary supplies for survival, economic stability, and social support.