Date:

Study identifies date of Norse settlement in the Americas

An international team of researchers has revealed that Norse settlers were active in the Americas as early as AD 1021.

Norse people sailed vast distances in search of new lands to settle and farm, or to raid as Vikings for fame and wealth. To the East they reached the gates of Constantinople, but to the west they established settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and Canada.

- Advertisement -

The study published in the journal Nature, focused on the Norse site of L’Anse aux Meadows in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, which served as an exploratory base and winter camp.

Archaeologists theorise that the settlement supported between 30 to 160 inhabitants, but the lack of burials and agriculture suggests that the site was only a temporary settlement before being abandoned.

shutterstock 1126142642
L’Anse aux Meadows – Image Credit : Russ Heinl – Shutterstock

The researchers studied pieces of wood from contexts archaeologically attributable to the settlers, which display clear evidence of cutting and slicing by blades made of metal (a material not produced by the indigenous population).

The exact year of AD 1021 was determinable because a massive solar storm occurred in AD 992 that produced a distinct radiocarbon signal in tree rings from the following year.

- Advertisement -

Associate Professor Michael Dee from the University of Groningen said: “The distinct uplift in radiocarbon production that occurred between AD 992 and 993 has been detected in tree-ring archives from all over the world. Each of the wooden objects exhibited this signal og29 growth rings (years) before the bark edge.”

“Finding the signal from the solar storm 29 growth rings in the bark allowed us to conclude that the cutting activity took place in the year AD 1021 AD” says Dr Margot Kuitems from the University of Groningen.

UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN

Header Image : L’Anse aux Meadows – Image Credit : Russ Heinl – Shutterstock

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Greco-Roman era tombs found west of Aswan

Archaeologists have discovered 33 tombs dating from the Greco-Roman period during excavations in the area of the Aga Khan mausoleum, west of Aswan, Egypt.

Golden primrose among new discoveries at Auckland Castle

Archaeologists from the Auckland Project are conducting excavations at Auckland Castle to unearth the home of Sir Arthur Haselrig, a leader of the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I.

Archaeologists search for lost world beneath the Gulf of Mexico

A multinational team, including researchers from the University of Bradford, is conducting a study in the Gulf of Mexico to identify submerged landscapes from the last Ice Age.

Archaeologists discover giant monumental structure

Archaeologists from the University of Hradec Králové have discovered a giant mound structure during preliminary archaeological investigations along the route of the D35 Plotiště-Sadová highway in Czechia.

Viking ship discovered at Jarlsberg Hovedgård

Archaeologists have discovered a Viking ship burial northwest of Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway.

Update : Ming Dynasty shipwrecks

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage has released an update on the current recovery efforts of two Ming Dynasty shipwrecks in the South China Sea.

Study reveals new insights into life at “German Stonehenge”

Excavations of the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, nicknamed the “German Stonehenge”, has revealed new insights into domestic life from prehistory.

3,400-year-old shipwreck found with cargo mostly intact

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit have discovered a 3,400-year-old shipwreck with the cargo mostly intact.