ABSTRACT In largely treeless Arctic and subarctic environments driftwood is a key raw material, and this was no less so in Norse Greenlandic society (AD 985–1450). Driftwood was used for various purposes such as construction, transport, tools, utensils and for decoration. It has been argued that driftwood was a non-renewable resource which by the fourteenth century led to timber shortage in Norse Greenland. This paper presents data from taxonomic identifications on wood remains from five farmsteads in Norse Greenland where excavations have produced large collections of wood artefacts and wood debris. The study shows that 67% of the combined assemblage (total of 8552 pieces) are non-native coniferous taxa, the majority of which came to Greenland as drift. The Norse farms had more or less equal proportions of driftwood. In addition, this study finds no significant change in driftwood availability throughout the Norse period in Greenland nor does the composition of driftwood taxa change.

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