Arctic -- vikings

Vikings probably first visited the archipelago in the 12th century, referring to it as Svalbard, meaning "cold edge." Willem Barents, a Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named, came upon the archipelago in 1596, and the islands became a center for whaling and Arctic exploration.

( Louise Roug / Los Angeles Times )

Vikings probably first visited the archipelago in the 12th century, referring to it as Svalbard, meaning "cold edge." Willem Barents, a Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named, came upon the archipelago in 1596, and the islands became a center for whaling and Arctic exploration.

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