Norse assignment need a thesis by 4/27 I have the sources required feel free to use more :)

THE LOST NORSE: OVERVIEW AND ASSIGNMENTThis unit involves one of the greatest mysteries of history: what happened to the Greenland Norse? Here is an overview:Once upon a long ago, there lived a people who dwelt at what seemed (to many Europeans) to be the very edge of the world. They lived at the south-western verge of a polar ice cap, populated by polar bears and seals and wild wheeling falcons. It was the largest island of the world, and most of it was ice. In the far north where Thules or Skraelings (the Norse term for these people) lived, forests grew only to the height of grass. In the unpopulated south, the winds were bitter, and only the lands along the fjords offered any space for cultivation. For months at a time, the island lay in darkness, lit only by the strange fire of the northern lights and a dim waver at the horizon where the sun almost, but never quite, arose in the dark.These settlers came to this island from Iceland, and Norway before that, Vikings with a hunger for new lands and a free life. They settled in the peninsulas of the southwest, where currents were warmer and there were arable fields at the foot of icy mountains. Here Erik the Red (who was exiled from Iceland for murder) and Herjolf made homes in this forbidding place they called Greenland to attract other settlers. And come the settlers did, bringing wives and servants and thralls from other lands.From these settlements, Bjarni Herjólfsson, the son of Herjólf, would set sail and be blown off course until he sighted the coasts of what we now call America. Erik’s son Leif later followed Bjarni’s voyage west and named the places he found along the coast Helluland, land of flat rocks; Markland, land replete with forests; and Vinland, land of lush wheat-fields and rich clustering grapes. But the people already living there were hostile to these (not always friendly) strangers, and the Vikings did not stay in America long.It is with Herjolf Bardson and Erik the Red back in Greenland, however, that our story begins. In a few years they gathered to them men and women with much skill in farming and building and weaving, and they soon learned to craft a thick wool twill they called vaðmál to keep out the wind and snow. There in the warmer peninsulas of the island, they flourished for centuries. They kept farms, hunted polar animals and sea life, and traded walrus tusks and wool cloth for other goods with men who sailed to the island from time to time to trade. Often these sailors would spend the winter in the mead halls drinking and swapping lore and goods with the Greenlanders. Soon after settling the lands, the Greenlanders turned aside from their Norse gods and converted to Christianity.So the settlers continued for hundreds of years, making a new culture in this frozen island. They endured strife with Thules and land eroded by extreme weather; they built sturdy farms of turf and stone, fragments of which remain today. And then when the weather turned colder in what we now call a Little Ice Age, they began hunting seals and fish for most of their food. It became increasingly more difficult for ships to come visit Greenland, so wide and treacherous was the ice encasing the peninsulas. For many decades, the Greenland settlements had no contact with the outside world, and no one in Europe knew how these hardy people fared.Some thought they must have turned back to their heathen ways as the years passed. Others wondered how they made do without a Bishop. Once, a German sailor blown wildly off course sighted the shores of Greenland and beheld a strange thing: a solitary man on the beach, clad in Viking vaðmál and sealskin, face down in the icy mud. Beside him lay a knife.Why had he no one to bury him? And where were his family and community? In a few years when boats could once again land safely in Greenland, sailors ventured onto the shores of the south-west, to the great church and fish-houses and farms and villages, and found no one there at all. The homes were neat and doors secured, but empty. After flourishing for almost five hundred years, all the Norse Greenlanders had disappeared. No one knows why.THEORIESSome speculate that pirates killed or enslaved them, or that the Thules or “skraelings” (as the Norse called the Inuit peoples who lived in the north) burned their villages down, and, indeed, there are Inuit tales of such events–but no archeological evidence of widespread fires, and no mass graves or evidence of widespread pirate abduction.Others believe that the Norse damaged the land with over-cultivation and died, or left due to climate change–but there were no forests to cut down for boats, and no evidence of widespread migration or mass graves. And recent archeological research suggests that the Norse actually carefully preserved and improved their soil.Some argue that the Norse failed to adapt to the climate and clung to Icelandic dress and diet that were not suited to this new land, but others have found evidence that seems to refute this claim, such as a prevalence of seal bones that suggest up to 80% of their diet was marine-based by the end.Some believe the plague wiped out the population (but again, no mass graves) or that they emigrated to America or to Iceland and Norway to claim abandoned farms (but recall the lack of boats, trees for timber, or record of them landing anywhere. Also, recall from the documentary we viewed the hapless figure of Asmund Kastanrassi, who ventured to Iceland in 1189 in a scrappy boat made entirely of Greenlandic materials but ended up foundering in the icy wastes when his ship fell apart because of lack of iron reinforcements).Other scholars have argued that the culture’s collapse was due to decimating the walrus population; recently, new evidence has come to light that while the climate did not grow markedly colder over time, Greenland did grow critically drier. Ultimately, however, no one knows for sure, or what happened to them or where (if anywhere) they went.YOUR TASKYour task is as follows: First, evaluate the reliability, currency, relevance, persuasiveness, and evidence of the research materials provided (and any you find on your own, if you choose to supplement) to formulate your own answer to what happened to the lost Norse civilization in Greenland. The class bibliography on this subject contains articles from science magazines and The Smithsonian as well as scholarly books, journal articles, documentaries on YouTube, and conference papers. Which of these sources do you find the most trustworthy? Which are the most persuasive? Keep a log of our class readings and viewings (see separate assignment sheet) and evaluate them for their currency, reliability, persuasiveness, and so forth. This first part is due on the 13th.Then, write a paper using these sources in which you give your theory about what happened to the Greenland Norse. Be as specific and detailed as possible, citing evidence, quoting from texts, and providing specifics. Use the following format:Structure your essay as follows (Due 4/27):1) Introduction:a) Introduce your topic; give background, history, and context.b) Give a critical review of the topic (i.e., What smart people whose credentials we can trust have said about this topic).c) Give a concession / acknowledgement and then a “Turn” and state your thesis: (i.e., These smart people have some valid points—and say why—but then give your point of view and why you think YOU are right, giving us your thesis).d) Your thesis: what you think happened to the Greenlandic Norse and three reasons why you think this is so (reasons A, B, & C).2) Reason A: In your explanation, quote from / refer to sources3) Reason B: In your explanation, quote from / refer to sources4) Reason C: In your explanation, quote from / refer to sources5) Conclusion: Perhaps indicate why this still remains a mystery and what kinds of evidence we would need to know for sure. You could also say something about why there is an urgency to this unsolved mystery: the archaeological record is disintegrating.