Viking isotope dating

"Our analysis shows that the Norse in Greenland ate lots of food from the sea, especially seals," says Jan Heinemeier, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University.

"Even though the Norse are traditionally thought of as farmers, they adapted quickly to the Arctic environment and the unique hunting opportunities.

The lab was established with funds from the National Science Foundation, and funding sources include NSF, American Chemical Society, USGS, Mass Bays Program, and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.

A recent transplant from Michigan and a graduate from the University of, I studied geology and geochemistry with a focus on mercury transport biogeochemical cycling.

I found my passion post-graduation in the nexus of the geosciences, laboratory management, and scientific instrumentation.

My interests are broad, ranging from paleoclimatology to nutrient cycling, though always seeking to utilize the many applications of stable isotopes to further our understanding of the natural world.

But the archaeological evidence shows that they kept fewer and fewer animals, such as goats and sheep.

So the farming identity was actually more a mental self-image, held in place by an over-class that maintained power through agriculture and land ownership, than it was a reality for ordinary people that were hardly picky eaters," Jette Arneborg, archaeologist and curator at the National Museum of Denmark, says.

"The Norse could adapt, but how much they could adapt without giving up their identity was limited.Located on the campus of Salem State University, the Viking Environmental Stable Isotope Lab (VESIL) is dedicated to providing analytical services to students, researchers, and faculty from institutions nationwide.We offer stable isotope and elemental analysis of several light elements, including carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur.These new results shake-up the traditional view of the Norse as farmers and have given archaeologists reason to rethink those theories."The Norse thought of themselves as farmers that cultivated the land and kept animals.

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I direct the SSU Viking Environmental Stable Isotope Laboratory (VESIL) where we analyze CNS isotopes in samples as diverse as sediments, soils, vegetation, jellyfish, and fish.

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