Robert: Scientists pinpoint when Vikings set up shop in Newfoundland

Published on October 22nd, 2021 @ 12:00 PM


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A new study has seemed to confirm when Vikings settled on the northern tip of the Province.

In studying the remains of the Norse settlement at L’Anse Aux Meadows,¬†researchers from the Netherlands, Germany and Canada used¬†accelerator mass spectrometry to examine tree rings in pieces of wood used to build the camp. The rings showed a pattern consistent with exposure to a solar storm dating back to 993 AD.

“There was one year of solar activity that affected the growth of trees throughout the world,” said said Birgitta Wallace, a retired senior archeologist with Parks Canada. “Those tree rings are really wiggly.”

These findings have lead scientists to conclude that the Vikings were likely calling North America home sometime in 1021. Upholding the long standing belief that these seafarers were the first Europeans to set foot in North America.

“Our result of AD 1021 for the cutting year (of the wood) constitutes the only secure calendar date for the presence of Europeans across the Atlantic before the voyages of Columbus,” the study says.

The remains of a Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows were confirmed in 1960. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

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