Fine Belt-Buckles of Walrus Ivory - also Made in Greenland
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIn: Irene Baug, Janicke Larsen and Sigrid Samset Mygland (Eds.), Nordic Middle Ages - Artefacts, Landscapes and Society. Essays in Honour of Ingvild Øye on her 70th Birthday, p 267-273, UBAS - University of Bergen Archaeological Series; 8.
It is usually believed that finely shaped and decorated objects found in Greenland were imported from elsewhere. However, a broken and discarded rough-out of a walrus-ivory beltbuckle found in 1997-1998 at a rescue excavation in the Eastern Settlement demonstrates that such buckles, which belong to a small group of belt-buckles known from north-western Europe, were actually also carved in Greenland. This find, and a brief look at other objects found in Greenland, leads to the conclusion that many decorated objects originated there and, indeed, that the Norse society in Greenland had both the economic and the cultural capacity to produce and appreciate decorative art.