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Karin Bojs: the wake of the worst years under the ice

the Book depicts how the crop failure and the political mistakes caused famine in large parts of Sweden. People starved, many died, and the consequences affected the history of our country in the decades ahead.

It was an event that looked like a given that the Hunger came out just after the hot, dry summer of 2018, as the weather reminded so much of the summer of 1868.

was certainly difficult, but they were probably still harmless as compared with the year 536.

536 was the worst year, if you were to ask medeltidshistoriken Michael McCormick at Harvard University.

”the Introduction to one of the worst times to live,” he said in the context of a recent seminar at Harvard, as referenced by the journal Science.

McCormick has ample support for its claim in the archaeology and historical sources.

. ”Failure of bread” noted laconically in the year 536. The same wording, ”Failure of bread” will return in 539; obviously was a lack of bread, also of that year.

Several other historical sources have documented crop failures – in Europe and all the way down to China seems the harvests have been going wrong over the years.

the Reason seems to be that the sky darkened.

”For the sun gave light without strength, like that of the moon, throughout the year,” testify to the bysantiske the historian Prokopios.

available in the ide sländska tales, including the Author of divination: ”Black becomes the sun about somrarne after, all the the weather is bad.”

In our part of the world, the time has come to be called Fimbulvintern, and in recent years, it has become increasingly clear that it is a question of real events, not just something that poets have dictates.

The Swedish botanist and archaeologist Rutger Sernander proposed already hundred years ago, based on the pollenanalyser, to Fimbulvintern was a reality.

the idea came in the 1990s when dendrokronologen Mike Baillie in Belfast showed that the trees closest to the ceased to grow some years around 540.

since Then, Mike Baillie has been involved in fierce debates with, among others, scientists who study the cores in the ice. They have argued about exactly what year the disasters may have occurred. Mike Baillie has argued that at least one event must have been a kometnedslag, a hypothesis that he now has left.

A study in the journal Nature three years ago got the data from tree-rings and ice cores match.

now it was at least two major volcanic eruptions in close succession. The first occurred in the year 536. Around 540-541 occurred additional. Both outbreaks led to the summer temperatures were lowered a few degrees. Possibly came a third outbreak in the year 547.

the Place where the accident occurred has not been known.

But at the seminar at Harvard recently introduced McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski from the University of Maine for the new, ultra-fine analysis of ice cores from Switzerland.

They consider themselves to now be able to show that at least the volcanic eruption 536 occurred on the Island. Compositions of the elements in the small glaspartiklar that the volcano spread, similar to the bedrock there.

however, we have only nyhetsreferatet in Science to go on, no detailed and reviewed scientific article.

But an outbreak on the Island would explain why Scandinavia was so hard.

the Famine of 1867-1869 by Magnus Västerbro depicts so well in his book the Famine, led to an estimated one or two percent of the population died.

During the Fimbulvintern in the middle of the 500's died maybe half of all people who lived in our part of the world.

crop failure and famine followed the plague. The epidemic, which spread with the bacterium Yersinia pestis was absolutely clear as far north as Germany – this is new dna evidence – and most likely also to Scandinavia.

Our history has been shaped by natural disasters and epidemics much more than we previously have suspected. Not the least of the plague, and this is expected to significant news in the near future.

Read more: evidence of the Fimbulvintern

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