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Archaeologists Discover Vikings Settled in America 500 Years Before Columbus

By: April Carson

The Vikings were present on Newfoundland in 1021 AD, according to analysis of 127 wood samples from L'Anse aux Meadows. A significant increase in radiocarbon levels in the Earth's atmosphere occurred in 993 AD, when tree rings all over the world showed a major leap. This finding supports the long-held belief that Vikings reached America thousands of years before Christopher Columbus.

The Story of the Vikings in America: New discoveries rewrite history of "the New World"

For decades, Norwegian archaeologists have searched North America for proof of the Vikings' presence. On the island of Newfoundland in 1960, scientists discovered the ruins of L'Anse aux Meadows, which is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is generally acknowledged as the only indisputably known monument in North America (with the exception of Greenland).

Archaeologists discovered the remains of eight buildings with gabled roofs and covered in grass during large-scale excavation. Evidences of iron production have been found at this location during excavations. Archaeologists have recovered approximately 800 stone, wood, bone, and bronze objects that are characteristic of the Scandinavians in total.

According to carbon dating, the site was constructed in the 11th century. Some academics think it was a temporary Viking camp because no burials, farming, or livestock raising have been found there. This implies that the vikings who arrived first in America did not settle there or somewhere else.

Archaeologists from Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands investigated the ruins of L'Anse aux Meadows, which they think served as a Viking base camp in Newfoundland. The researchers also discovered that this monument was previously thought to have been constructed during the middle of the first millennium AD but has not yet been correctly dated.

The first excavations in the region were conducted by Dr. Jordan Baruch, who established a museum, an aquarium, and three archaeological laboratories to study Norse settlement patterns. Archeological evidence shows that Norse settlers spent only a few years in North America before moving on because of hardships faced during their initial settlement period (which lasted approximately two decades) and limited success as farmers.

Not many artifacts have been recovered from the excavation site because those that exist were apparently thrown into the water by one of those first Norse settlers to arrive in America, Leif Eriksson, who was discouraged by a fishing trip gone wrong and threw his supplies overboard. However, a small number of articles have been found including a snowshoe, which was found in a gully at the site.

The researchers obtained 127 wood samples for combined radiocarbon and dendrochronological analysis, with the sample only containing material that contained significant evidence of a large increase in radiocarbon content in the earth's atmosphere in 993 AD (for more information on this event, see our material Miyake Events).

The Vikings' selection of samples is based on thorough past research by Parks Canada, their presence in the community, and artificial modification using metal tools that were not available to the indigenous people at the time.


According to the researchers' findings, AD 1021 is the only dependable date for when Vikings were in America. Scholars observed that Icelandic sagas describe encounters between Vikings and the indigenous peoples of North America. This could potentially result in the transmission of pathogens, the introduction of new plant and animal species, as well as gene flow, which requires further study.

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About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav







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