Exploration Assignment, Assessment Example

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Hoidal, in his article, argues that Norsemen sailors moved along the coastline from Greenland to North America, where they utilized the forest resources of the North American continent. The author tries to solve the puzzle of whether it is accurate or a myth that the Norsemen sailors utilized the American forest. Hoidal confirms that Norsemen sailors utilized American forest before the eleventh century. According to Hoidal, some moved to America while most used to transport forest resource voyages back to Greenland. Their desire for new land motivated them to relocate to North America. Their journey started in the late eighth century and possibly ended in the eleven century. It began on the coast of Norway through the Shetland and Orkney and ended in North America. The author “Hoidal” uses Helge Ingstad’s evidence to prove that there is an archaeologist’s proof that Norsemen invaded the North American forests. Also, evidence from L’Anse aux Meadows and Canadian experts proves that Norsemen were the first Europeans to enjoy North American forests.

Hoidal’s article is well-founded because he introduces two medieval Icelandic sagas to support his argument. These sagas include the Graenlendiga and the  Eirik’s Saga. These two sagas provide essential historical information about the Norsemen. They installed that Norsemen existed, and they traversed along the northern shores of the Atlantic through a series of touchdowns. Their final destination was the Atlantic colony of Norsemen in North America. The two sagas also provide evidence of the then value of timber. According to Hoidal, Norsemen came from Greenland, a place without forests. Therefore, such vegetation was impotent as a source of firewood. The wood collected from the forest supplemented the Norsemen with firewood for cocking purposes. The sagas also state that Vikings ordered timber to be cut in sizes of cargos and felled to their workshops. The specifics recorded in the article include the maple trees that grew in Scandinavia and were helpful in sugar manufacture.

Another vital piece of evidence that Hoidal uses to support his argument includes the location of Vinland’s discovery. Helge Ingstad’s saga discovered that Vinland was located in Newfoundland. This discovery indicates that Vinland is the Northern extremity of the Vinland. Due to small numbers and insufficient technology, Norsemen never settled permanently in North America due to harsh inhabitants. Therefore, they adapted themselves to voyages along the North Atlantic shore. These journeys were faced with extreme hostility as they transported voyages into Greenland. However, such hatred never stopped Greenland from using forest resources from North America. Later, archaeologists identified a tamarack or Greenland’s chest, a tree found in Newfoundland and Labrador but in Scandinavia.

The population that crafted Labrador resided on the southwest coast of Greenland. This Norsemen colony comprised 3,000 to 4,000 persons by the early fourteenth century. This population needed time and lumber to replenish their demand from the North American forests. Also, about eighteen Greenlanders journeyed to Markland to collect timber, but as they moved, they were forced and attacked to Iceland to seek shelter.

Hoidal’s article, “Norsemen and the North American Forests,” argument is convincing due to various strong evidence applied. Furthermore, the topic looks at American history and forests. It is clearly and broadly understood. Also, the Graenlendiga and the Eirik’s Saga and archeologist evidence make the Hoidal argument convincing and make Hoidal discussion relevant to the topic of exploration.


Hoidal, Oddvar K. “Norsemen and the North American Forests.” Journal of Forest History 24, no. 4 (1980): 200-203. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.2307/4004445?journalCode=jforehist