30 May 2010

Greenland Vikings Had Celtic Blood

Copenhagen Post
March 20, 2010

Norsemen who settled in southern Greenland carried more Celtic than Nordic blood but they were still decidedly Scandinavian.

An analysis of DNA from a Viking gravesite near a 1000 year-old church in southern Greenland shows that those buried there had strong Celtic bloodlines, reported science website Videnskab.dk.

The analysis performed by Danish researchers on bones from skeletons found during excavations in south Greenland revealed that the settlers' Nordic blood was mixed with Celtic blood, probably originating from the British Isles.

Danish archaeologists are currently conducting the first regional study of southern Greenland's original settlers, whose colonies date back to the year 985. The skeletons disinterred outside the old church also date back to just a few years after that period.

'The research results haven't yet been published, but initial results somewhat surprisingly suggest that the people in the graves were more Celtic than Nordic,' said Jette Arneborg, curator and senior scientist at the National Museum, and one of the Danish archaeologists involved in the project.

'We've always known that Norsemen traveled a lot and we also know that the early inhabitants of the Faroe Islands and Iceland had traces of Celtic genes. But now we also have evidence of this in Greenland as well,' she added.

Although the DNA analysis reveals the inhabitants had Celtic blood in their veins, Arneborg said there was no question that the settlers were Nordic.

'Everything these people did their culture, means of nourishment and so on was clearly Scandinavian,' she said.

Earlier studies of populations living in the Faeroe Islands and Iceland have shown that it was primarily the women who were of Celtic origin.

Arneborg said that indicated the Vikings may have come from Norway down past the British Isles -- where they took women with them -- and then continued on into the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.

20 May 2010

The Medieval Greenland Viking Association with Pre-historical Indian Tribes of North America

Between 986 and 1425, the generally accepted 500-year longevity of the medieval Norse settlements on the island of Greenland, a gradual assimilation process began with the native peoples of the Arctic and present-day North America that culminated in the disappearance from history of all 4000 of the Norse settlers. What happened to them has been a source of contention ever since-nobody knows to this day. We know three aspects of their disappearance with fair certainty: they did not die out, they did not voyage back to Europe, and they did not simply disappear. A process of gradual assimilation had existed with the Thule people of Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, in the Canadian Arctic, since the early years of the Greenland settlements. It only made sense to join with the people who already knew how to survive in this harsh new land. This assimilation process no doubt continued with other native populations further south throughout the following centuries. Those who remained on Greenland to the end finally had no choice but to migrate or face slow starvation. Common sense would indicate they went to North America as it is the nearest land mass from the two Norse settlements on southwestern Greenland and they already had a familiarity developed through long association.

European explorers from the 16th through 19th centuries reported seeing blue-eyed blonde and redheaded people living with the natives of the Canadian Arctic early in the period. Later in the period, four different expeditions found the same situation along the river systems of the central United States, stating in their journals that certain tribes appeared to be of mixed white and native origin. These explorers also reported practices among those tribes of mixed blood completely out of keeping with what they had noted among other tribes that did not appear to be of mixed blood. We have known of these mysteries for at least two centuries, but no investigation has undertaken to provide positive proof of where the white blood originated.

I am writing a five volume series that specifically speaks, in a character-driven, historical fiction sense, to some of the mysteries and legends surrounding the Indian people of southeastern Canada and the north central United States and the possibility of a deep-seated association with the Greenland Vikings. The first book of the series, Axe of Iron: The Settlers was published in August 2008. The next book, Axe of Iron: Confrontation was released in March 2010. Both of these books take place in the Canadian province of Quebec more than 1000-years ago. My series present a plausible answer to many native customs and beliefs that could only have developed through a close association with the Norse Greenland settlers. Space herein precludes my going into the details of my contention in this regard, but my continuing series covers most, if not all, of what a lifetime of research on the subject has revealed to me. Contentions are opinions and mine are no different. I cannot prove any of it, but nobody can disprove it either and therein lay the bones of a good story.

I believe that you will find that I have offered plausible explanations to many of the questions left unanswered by conventional archaeology. My series is not a dry history of these events; rather it is an intensely engaging story of what may have happened on the North American continent during pre-historical time between the indigenous natives and a large, mixed group of Greenland Norse people whose goal was to survive during a most difficult time in history. The characters carry the story and you will see it through their eyes.

The Historical Perspective in the first book of the series, Axe of Iron: The Settlers provides historical data to support the basis of my contentions about what may have happened in southern Quebec and areas of the north central United States 1000-years ago. The last two paragraphs of the Historical Perspective probably sum it up best: 'more than 40 – generations have elapsed since they came to this continent. Now their very existence, everything they accomplished, has faded from the collective memory of all the peoples they contacted and lived among. I prefer to believe the four thousand live on however, their genetic makeup diluted by the intervening centuries of time. They are still here, smiling back at us from the faces of the Inuit Greenlanders, Cree, Ojibwa, and Iroquois with whom they joined so long ago.'

J. A. Hunsinger, Vinland Publishing, http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/

©2010 Jerry A. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved

12 May 2010

Review From Midwest Book Review

An intriguing piece of historical fiction, highly recommended, May 7, 2010

By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Confrontation: Axe of Iron (Perfect Paperback)

With no understanding there is conflict. With understanding, there is peace. "Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel" tells the story of Vikings from Greenland who land on the coasts of the Americas and encounter the native people of the Americas. Though started in conflict, there may soon be a peace as the Northmen realize they need the natives to survive. "Confrontation" is an intriguing piece of historical fiction, highly recommended.

06 May 2010

A Candid Opinion of the Novel, Confrontation: Axe of Iron

An E-mail from Linda

Well Jerry...............I finally found 2 days that I could sit down and read your new book, Confrontation. I started yesterday and finished late this afternoon.

Wow.........another great job. You have left me hanging........I want to know what happened to Ivar and what's to become of Ingerd and Gudbj. I was so sorry for the young boy Yola and I was prepared to really like Gudrod but you killed him off. Again your descriptions and detail are outstanding. I was making pictures in my head all the time. Where in the world did you learn all that stuff? It seems all so real and I am sure it is as accurate as can be. We have certainly come a long way from the blood and guts of right and wrong of long ago......now we just have blood and guts with our drug issues and other bad guys.

I am really getting into your story now. I still am having a hard time with your names but I figure I will get better with each book. I have only read one other set of historical novels and that was the Earth Children Series. I did that some time ago and really enjoyed them, however, now I think your books are better and much more descriptive. I find it very interesting that all those different tribes ended up being the more modern Indians of long ago of the Northeast.

Oh, by the way...........your goofy hat on top of your head in the picture in the back of the book looks good........................Linda

P.S. If you kill off Halfdan, I will be very sad!!!!

My Response

Hi Linda,

It is very gratifying when someone tells me they have enjoyed my writing, especially when they are a special person to me, like you. Fortunately, the subject matter of my books, making weapons, butchering game, blacksmithing, etc., have been a part of my life, so I can write about them with a certain authority because I have done them. The people of my tale are a part of my soul: I feel them, see them, smell them, and hear their voices. I write their story, from their perspective. If I am able to make you, the reader, see what I see, then I am successful. Thank you for telling me, it means a lot.

The names have all been researched, and they are genuine. Everybody has trouble with pronunciation. As I mention in the Forward, do the best you can, pronounce their names as you wish, just so you are able to keep the characters in their place.

You will enjoy Assimilation, but I cannot divulge any of my secrets--suffice to say, the book will engage those who are into my tale. :-) Ah, Halfdan, now he is an engaging character. His loss would certainly be momentous. He and Gudbjartur, and their devotion to one another, are the stuff of legends. Their importance to the story is a crucial aspect of the overall plot. Golly maybe I should kill both of them! :-)

That picture of me in the "goofy hat" was taken aboard ship last December. People seem to like it and the big smile is genuine.

Thanks again, Linda. Tell your friends about the Axe of Iron series. I am going to post your letter and my answer on my Blog. Take a look later this afternoon.

My best to both of you.