The End of the Greenland Norse

The Norse colonized Greenland under Eric the Red a little before 1000 CE.  They did well at first, but a cooling planet, and an inability to adapt to new situations eventually doomed the colony.  The last time any Norse survivors were seen was in 1540, when an Icelander, known to history as John Greenlander, was blown off course on his way from Germany to Iceland.  He passed by the Eastern Settlement, and went ashore with his men.  There, they found empty houses and farms, completely abandoned.  The only human they saw was a corpse.  He lay face-down, wearing wool and sealskin.  Near him was an ancient, thin, blunt iron knife.  John took the knife and left.  Over 40 years later, John David, and Englishman, sailed around the southern tip of Greenland and so no human life at all.


The Parrot of the Atures

During his travels, Alexander von Humboldt came across the cave of Ataruipe in Venezuela.  This cave was the cemetery of an extinct nation, the Atures, containing about six hundred skeletons placed in baskets called mapires, shaped like square sacks.  His interpreter could not give him certain information as to the age of the skeletons, but a parrot contained a clue.

The Atures had been attacked by the Caribs, and, under their assault, had withdrawn to the rocks of the Cataracts, where they finally, sadly perished, and with them, their language.  However, in Maypures there still lived an old parrot, the last speaker of the dead tongue, whom no one could still understand.  This unique bird was the last being who could still speak the Ature language.