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Economic and climate changes impacted the lives of those in 14th-century Greenland and provide insights for today's globalization focus. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In his treatise, “Darkness at the Edge of the World” in the March 2017 issue of Smithsonian, environmental specialist Tim Folger focuses on the settlements of Hvalsey, now called Gardar, at the southwestern tip of Greenland, perhaps a hundred miles southeast of Nuuk, an Inuit settlement further up Greenland’s west coast.

Settled by Eric the Red sailing from Iceland, this Nordic community was inhabited by at least 1,500 or more people from the tenth to the thirteenth century. Then the Norsemen disappeared. Where? No one knows, but they departed in unison; farmhouse doors were closed, gates latched, and the stones of their large cathedral, with part of the bishop’s crosier carved from narwhal bone and his ring remain, although the roof and stained glass are gone.

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