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Greenland Contact

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Jason
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Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:49 pm

Just thought I'd post about this as in G8 Greenland is a bit of a hot topic.

I'm currently developing an exhibition at work that will include a bit on the stories of "Finn Men" in north east Scotland in the late 17th and early 18th Century...

In case you haven't heard these stories (legends? myths?) they concern "Finn Men" who reach north east Scotland (for example Orkney or Aberdeenshire) between roughly 1690 and 1725. They arrive in their kayaksand (of course) seem totally alien to the locals. Quite why they have made the journey from Greenland (despite their name they are said to be Inuits) is not clear, esp as once they reach Scotland all they seem to do is fish.

The final fate of them varies. In some reports they die, in others they disappear (the suggestion is they went home). There are multiple reports across the period and they do seem independent; it doesn't seem to be a case of one story that is then repeated and modified for slightly different locations in the region. The museum at Aberdeen University has in its collection the kayak and other personal objects that are said to belong to one "Finn Men" who died shortly after arriving on the Aberdeenshire coast. Oily Hicks has just recreated their possible voyage http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-37295203

What I found interesting is a theory I recently came across about how they reach Scotland. It seems that Dutch (and maybe also English) whalers were visiting Greenland at this time, in direct violation of Danish law. The theory is these whalers (for whatever reason) decided to bring back, on multiple occasions, an Inuit and their kayak and off Scotland they dropped them off in the sea (to avoid being caught with them on board by the Danes). Not sure I am convinced by this, if nothing else as it doesn't answer the "why" question.
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The Real Louis
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by The Real Louis on Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:29 pm

Not sure Greenland can ever be a "hot" topic... Smile

Might the Inuit merely have been disturbed-by/curious about the whalers , who obviously came from "somewhere further east... ish", and pushed out in search of those new (to them) shores?

Stuart Bailey
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Stuart Bailey on Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:50 pm

Tom Blakeney wrote:Not sure Greenland can ever be a "hot" topic... Smile

Might the Inuit merely have been disturbed-by/curious about the whalers , who obviously came from "somewhere further east... ish", and pushed out in search of those new (to them) shores?
ar


Since this is just a scientific expidition from a friendly power I dont see what the problem is........unless the English are planning to put up their flag on Danish soil.

Since the heiress to the English Throne is married to George of Denmark & he is in London can not he be made patron of the Royal Societies Greenland trip or something like that.

A certain York Merchant can then do some heavy duty royal toading my giving the Prince a nice Polar Bear Rug......using the hide of the bear which eat half the party and took his eye out. Or that might be the scurvey caused by a diet of ships biscuit.
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Deacon
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Deacon on Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:37 pm


Interesting. Didn't know this.
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Jason
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:51 pm

Tom Blakeney wrote:Not sure Greenland can ever be a "hot" topic... Smile

Might the Inuit merely have been disturbed-by/curious about the whalers , who obviously came from "somewhere further east... ish", and pushed out in search of those new (to them) shores?

It's a possibility Smile It's a lovely little mystery, love these sort of historical myths Smile
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Rozwi_Game10
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Rozwi_Game10 on Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:38 am

Well, I can remember a TGOK game where there was an archaeological dig set up to hunt for the ruins of Assyrian civilisation - Fitting together a link between LGDR and Assyria's End, at that time of both games being run. Not sure how I could get my chap to suggest that he'd heard tale about some northern foreigners called Scotchmen, who might just be smuggling Greenlander Naturals back to the British Isles, to the upper-crust Royal Society members.
Maybe Agema will read this and introduce this as a plot twist later on in the tale?

(As it happens I don't know if England and Scotland are separate nations in G8. Does anyone know, please? I haven't really been paying attention to TGOK #8, up to now, as my chap isn't big enough a Sw. Character to be bothered with anything other than local wool prices)
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Jason
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:06 pm

Yep, Scotland and England are united in G8 and peacefully Smile
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Basileus
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Basileus on Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:31 pm

Irish monks were supposed to have gone to Iceland in corracles. Its fairly well accepted that the Vikings were in Greenland and reached north America. The Danish had a regular annual ship that went regularly to the two main Danish colonies in Greenland. The ship sank and was never replaced. The Danish colonies were cut of, the weather got colder, and new Innuit tribes moved into Greenland which were significantly tougher than the previous tribes. Ironically 1492 happened fairly soon afterwards.
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Jason
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:51 pm

I do find the early contacts with Iceland and Greenland-it is interesting how ignored the evidence of the Irish in Iceland is. I did once read (translated into modern English) an account of some of the first Vikings in Iceland. It talked of finding abandoned buildings made in the 'Irish' style, of decayed clothing that appeared 'Irish' and of finding Christian bells of a form that the account writer had only seen in Ireland...he goes on to wonder if it is possible that these were left by people from Ireland.

The Vikings in Greenland and North America is something I also find fascinating. As you say, we know they got to North America and whilst I don't give any credance to the more outlandish theories of large-scale settlement, I do believe there are still many Viking sites to be found in North-eastern America (though not too far south).

Of course, if you want crazy-ness, there is the theory about Vikings in Uruguay...
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Deacon on Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:55 pm

Recent satellite imagery confirmed another viking settlement in north america. They probably weren't long lived, but long enough to build a small settlement.

Viking settlement in Canada
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Jason
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:22 pm

An interesting example of badly presented "public archaeology" Smile

When this site was the subject of a TV programme in the UK, it was billed as "proof of undiscovered Viking site" yet pissed off every archaeologist in the country as it failed to give any evidence (the 'metal working' evidence as presented in the UK was poor for example), however I understand the version broadcast in the USA gave much stronger evidence. Even more frustrating, I work with someone whose other half was involved in the excavations so got to hear the 'real' story rather than the rather poor UK TV version...

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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Stuart Bailey on Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:44 pm

Basileus wrote:Irish monks were supposed to have gone to Iceland in corracles. Its fairly well accepted that the Vikings were in Greenland and reached north America. The Danish had a regular annual ship that went regularly to the two main Danish colonies in Greenland. The ship sank and was never replaced. The Danish colonies were cut of, the weather got colder, and new Innuit tribes moved into Greenland which were significantly tougher than the previous tribes. Ironically 1492 happened fairly soon afterwards.

What with the Irish stories of the voyages of Saint Brendon, Welsh legends of western lands & Viking accounts of the same you have to wonder if 1492 was really such big news for large parts of Europe?

Find it odd how very shortly after 1492 Bristol Merchants arranged to sail "officially" across the North Atlantic and claim the best fishing waters in the whole Atlantic.

Almost makes you wonder if some people at least knew exactly were the grand banks were and Kept silent about top quality fishing. Untill some Italian loud mouth told everyone.
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Jason
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Re: Greenland Contact

Post by Jason on Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:12 pm

America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up Wink

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