Landnams in the westThe export of the Norwegian central farm model to the landnam societies in the Faroe Island, Iceland and Greenland.
This thesis aims to examine the extent to which the Norwegian central farm was exported to the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norse Greenland by smaller Norwegian chieftains in spe during the landnam periods. These people where the entrepreneurs of the migration and the landnams. Settled down in their new countries they reproduced the central farm structure that they knew well from Norway. This structure where one of the contributory factors for how the new societies developed. The power of the chieftains relied to a large degree on how the structure transferred resources from the land to the centre.
Not only did the central farm influence the societies, the new countries also changed the central farm. In Iceland the farm kept its original shape with centre and surrounding client farms as we know it from the descriptions of Skallagrim in Egil Skallagrimsson saga. In the Faroes the topography and the resource zones centralized the whole farm when the first settlers built their farms together in bylingar. The Greenlandic farm also got the central farm structure even if the pattern is not as clear as in Iceland.
The thesis focus on how the settlers both the free farmers and the chieftains utilized the resources in their new countries. It asks questions about why we see the differences we see in the archaeological records, both in zoo archaeology and when it comes to the farm structures and building sizes. There were clearly huge differences in the economy of the people, not only between the countries but also in each country. The situation seems to be that all the landnamsmenn started out with the same type of animals and the same type of longhouse.This situation changes after some time and the different farms and the different countries goes in separate directions. Why? I also investigate how the Norse in the North Atlantic organized the land and the estates. Also at this point it looks as if they all started out with the same kind of model: All land organizes as common land, allmenning and then after some time they reorganized it. The Faroes got their markatal model organizing all land in lots, where the owners of land in the home fields have right in a corresponding amount of the out field. The Icelandic model seems to part in to with to kinds of common owned. Greenland seems to keep the allmenning model knewn from Norway.