Vikings grew grain in south Greenland

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Archaeologists from the Danish national museum have finally succeeded in confirming that Erik the Red and his people could indeed brew beer in Greenland when they lived there. 

The Viking settlement of Qassiarsuk in Greenland dating to AD 972 [Credit: Joan Nenova]

There has long been a question mark over whether or not the southern Greenlandic climate was warm enough in Viking times to grow grain for beer, mead, gruel and bread. 

Now Danish archaeologists have found remains of burnt barley in a dunghill from the time when Erik the Red and other Icelanders moved to Greenland. The find is the first evidence of corn cultivation in southern Greenland a thousand years ago. 

According to Jyllandsposten, the archaeologists are very proud of their find and are even shipping 300 kilogrammes of the dunghill home to Denmark for further research. 

Source: Ice News [January 28, 2012]

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