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.

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.

- Advertisement -
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.

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 -

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Ring discovery suggests a previously unknown princely family in Southwest Jutland

A ring discovered in Southwest Jutland, Denmark, suggests a previously unknown princely family who had strong connections with the rulers of France.

Submerged evidence of rice cultivation and slavery found in North Carolina

Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) are using side-scan sonar and positioning systems to find evidence of rice cultivation and slavery beneath the depths of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

Study reveals oldest and longest example of Vasconic script

A new study of the 2100-year-old Hand of Irulegi has revealed the oldest and longest example of Vasconic script.

Archaeologists excavate the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä

Archaeologists have excavated the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä, a former Nazi barracks occupied by homeless Finns following the end of WW2.

Archaeologists find 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle

A team of archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City.

Traces of Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais found at foot of Mount Tabor

During excavations near Beit Keshet in Lower Galilee, Israel, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered traces of a market within the historic Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais.

Traces of marketplace from Viking Age found on Klosterøy

Archaeologists from the University of Stavanger have announced the possible discovery of a Viking Age marketplace on the island of Klosterøy in southwestern Norway.

Fragments of Qin and Han Dynasty bamboo slips found in ancient well

Archaeologists have uncovered over 200 fragments of bamboo slips from the Qin and Han Dynasty during excavations in Changsha, China.