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These spread over much of Europe, but it is scarcely surprising that the most profound of them formed over Russia, where their fluid outlines were occasionally visible even in the present century....It was with inherent Russian ruthlessness that, by order of Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev, the pagan idols, totem poles and other articles of heathen worship were destroyed in the year 988, at the time of the country's conversion to Christianity.More interestingly however, the Scythians also appear to be linked with items recovered from the Anglo-Saxon burial ship at Sutton Hoo which in turn provides a further connection with the Vikings.But the Scythians, like the Greenland Vikings, the Dorset and the Sadlermiut of Southampton Island and the Mandan Indians also suffered a rapid decline.

All we possess are the Viking Sagas written long after the fact, and as we have already seen, these present a number of difficulties.

This further exacerbates the problem of carrying out archaeological research in these remote regions, as does the extremely short working season (perhaps three months or so) made all the more unproductive by permafrost, wind, snow and ice.

Thus as far as the uncovering of direct evidence of a Viking presence is concerned it is hardly surprising that to date that this has been relatively minimal and confined to the Eastern Arctic alone.

Could the Vikings have traveled through the Northwest Passage entirely unnoticed and undetected?

Probably not, at least in the long term, but then again contact and communication between Greenland and Europe was hardly an everyday occurrence during the entire period in question.


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