The Lost Western Settlement of Greenland, 1342
Carol S. Francis
Master’s Thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2011
The Western Norse Settlement in Greenland disappeared suddenly, probably in 1342. Research in the area includes medieval sources, archeological studies of the ruins, climatic data from the Greenlandic icecap, oral stories from the Inuit in Greenland and Canada, and possible sightings of ancestors of the Norse in the Canadian Arctic. Feeling threatened both physically by the Thule (ancestors of the Inuit) and a cooling climate, and economically by the Norwegian crown, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Settlement in Greenland, the Western Settlement voluntarily left en masse for the new world, probably in 1342 based on sailing dates.