23 October 2021

When were the Vikings in the Americas?

USA Today featured this article on an amazing discovery made at the Newfoundland, Canada, Viking settlement of L 'Anse aux Meadows.

Scientists have established the exact date of Viking wooden artifacts found at the site. (Ed.)


Reconstruction of a Viking sod church at L 'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada Shutterstock

When were the Vikings in the Americas? Exactly 1,000 years ago, study says

Doyle Rice


October 20, 2021October 20, 20212

Wooden artifacts discovered in Newfoundland, Canada, date precisely to the year 1021.
Scientists are confident the artifacts belonged to the Vikings.
"That level of precision and scientific proof has never been achieved before."

We now know when the Vikings came to America.

Although we knew that Vikings made their way across the Atlantic hundreds of years before Columbus arrived, we weren't sure precisely when that was – until now.

Wooden artifacts discovered in Newfoundland, Canada, date precisely to the year 1021, which is the earliest known record of humans crossing from Europe to America, according to a study published Wednesday in the British journal Nature.

This is "the only known date for Europeans in the Americas before Columbus," archaeologist and study co-author Michael Dee of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands told USA TODAY.

“This is the first time the date has been scientifically established,” archaeologist Margot Kuitems, a researcher at the University of Groningen and the study’s lead author, told NBC News.

“Previously the date was based only on sagas – oral histories that were only written down in the 13th century, at least 200 years after the events they described took place,” she said.

Scientists are confident the wood artifacts belonged to the Vikings, based on their location within the settlement and evidence for modification using metal tools, which were not manufactured by indigenous people in the area at the time.

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