12 February 2009

Were the Vikings Victims of an Inconvenient Truth of Their Own?

From an interview of author J. A. Hunsinger by Sabrina Guice, Publicist, Smith Publicity, October 2008


What do the Vikings of Greenland, North American natives, and global climate change all have in common?

Novelist J. A. Hunsinger may know the answer. His historical adventure, Axe of Iron: The Settlers, the first in a five book series, provides a compelling answer as to why the Vikings literally disappeared from Greenland, why climate change may have been one of the culprits, and also why some American Indian tribes likely have Norse DNA.
“The Vikings lived on Greenland for 500-years, from 986 to about 1425. Nobody knows what happened to them; where they went … nothing. This leaves a large historical gap which the Axe of Iron series attempts to fill,” says Hunsinger.
“Creating this story allows me the fill in this gap, but I don’t simply create a wild answer, I offer a plausible, even likely, scenario based on years of my own research and study.”
Hunsinger’s bottom line: The Vikings went through climate change and environmental changes just as we are right now, and began to assimilate with the North American native peoples to survive.

But Axe of Iron: The Settlers serves up more than historical answers; it is a deftly crafted, dramatic and engaging read. The book follows the tale of Norsemen settlers in Greenland and the plight of the two main characters, chieftain Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second-in-command Gudbjartur Einarsson. The men, along with 315 other men, women and children set sail from their settlement on the southwestern coast of Greenland to territory south of them – the unexplored North America. Their travels bring them more than they had anticipated. Confronted with an unexpected gale, the travelers are faced with a decision, continue and face uncertain danger or seek shelter. The decision to do the latter brings them face to face with natives.

The new friendship brings some initial good fortune. Halfdan builds vital relationships with the natives, who in turn tell him of a land south along the coast with fertile ground. He and the others set out for this new land along the east coast of Hudson Bay where they find everything they sought, and soon build a permanent home in North America.

Readers discover:

  • How the Vikings settled Vinland - North America
  • How climate and environmental changes likely forced the migration of the Vikings
  • Key factors of their survival
  • Daily life and culture
  • Why they disappeared from Greenland and faded from history

Hunsinger’s research into the Medieval Norse Greenland settlements and specifically their unexplained disappearance from Greenland by the mid-15th century brings stunning reality to his books.

“It’s very important to remember that some 4000 people disappeared from history, never to be seen again. They didn't die; they didn't disappear; and they didn't go back to Europe. In my books, they all eventually join with the natives of North America and that is the premise of my entire series,” notes Hunsinger.

He adds, “While my tale is a work of fiction based on many years of dedicated research, something happened to them and several of us believe their genetic signature, the Norse DNA haplogroup R1a1, may be found in the blood of the Cree, Ojibwa, and Iroquois Indians whenever somebody actually checks.”

No comments: