A deep dive into current theories concerning the Greenland Viking settlements - what drove them (walrus ivory) and how it came to an end (dwindled.) Also, they might have adapted to the situation better than at first assumed (e.g.; switching to seal meat as their livestock dwindled.)
Iceland was settled by the Norwegian Vikings who brought their Scottish and Irish thralls ( slaves ) with them in the 870’s. Most of the modern population of Iceland reflects ancestry from the Norse and Gaels.
Prior to this time Iceland experienced small scale exploration by various Vikings such as the Swedish Viking explorer Garðar Svavarsson, but Viking settlers were few and far between prior to 874.
Gaelic monks may have been amongst the first people ( in recorded history ) to have lived in Iceland, about a century before the Viking expeditions, although they had abandoned the settlements by the 880’s.
Even though it may be exaggeration to suggest so many Icelanders believe in their existence, these Huldufolk or hidden people are part of Iceland’s folklore and may have had an origin in the Norse alfar ( elves ) folktales brought over by the Viking settlers, also the stories of the Irish and Scottish they brought with them.
The topography of the region certainly has an otherworldly look to it, dotted with still active volcanoes and close to the Arctic circle with tundra conditions it is easy to see it as the land of ice and fire ( Ginnungagap ), where ice and fire met.
I recently went to the Vikings exhibition at Melbourne Museum, which was touted as the largest assembled collection of its kind. A little pricey, but plenty of artifacts from the Swedish History Museum, including pendants, tools, weapons and utensils.
Whatever else someone might think of these Scandinavian seafarers who set out to trade and/or raid other peoples over a thousand years ago, they certainly came from culture skilled in various crafts, including metal work and ship building.
Very fine silver work on this Thor’s hammer pendant from Viking age Sweden.