New Dating Method Shows Vikings Occupied Newfoundland in 1021 C.E

A new study of wooden artifacts found at Newfoundland’s famed L’Anse aux Meadows site shows that Vikings lived, and felled trees, on North American soil exactly 1,000 years ago—during the year 1021 C.E. The evidence, published today in Nature , means that these Norse seafarers accomplished the earliest known crossing of the Atlantic from Europe to the Americas. Such incredibly precise dating of the wood was possible thanks to an intriguing new method that examined growth rings for a once-in-a-millennium cosmic-ray event that showered Earth with high energy particles in 993 C.E. Finding that telltale spike in the tree rings allowed scientists to count additional rings outside that mark to pinpoint the exact year the Vikings cut fir and juniper trees here, as they lived and explored on the edge of the continent.

My wife and I were thinking about a trip to L’Anse aux Meadows this summer but the border closure put an end to those plans.


No issue if you’re vaccinated.

Yeah, maybe next summer, border opening was too late for us this year.

I am continually amazed by the ingenuity of some people. I can’t even get the same number of socks out of dryer that I put in…

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If my ship crashed in Newfoundland I"d be felling trees and making shelter too. Wonder what happened to them?

Simon Winchester’s great book Atlantic has a whole section on L’Anse aux Meadows. Apparently it was a small scale exploration/colonization thing run by the Norse from Greenland. The Norse ventured to Iceland and Greenland. Internal squabbles in each settlement sent them looking farther west for more land. But Newfoundland sucked. The Norse left after a few generations. Went back to Greenland, then quit that too for Iceland. Wrote all about in their sagas, but most people thought the sagas were mostly myth, for nearly a 1,000 years.

A group I’m with have been studying the settlement of the Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands and the Orkney Islands from the time of the Neolithic period onward. The history is fascinating and this news just adds to it. Columbus was an also ran.