Possible second Viking site discovered in North America
A team of archeologists has found what may be the remains of a previously unknown Viking settlement on a south west shore of the Island of Newfoundland.
The team has been videotaping their work and a documentary of their efforts will be presented this month on PBS.
Leading the research is archeologist and National Geographic fellow, Sarah Parcak, who has been described as a “space archaeologist” because of her groundbreaking use of satellite technology to uncover Egyptian ruins. In this latest effort, she and her team have altered their methods to uncover what appears to be evidence of Viking iron smelting.
That led to an initial excavation which revealed an iron-working hearth (with 28 pounds of slag in it) and what appeared to be the remains of turf walls. Radiocarbon testing has dated the site to between 800 and 1300 AD, which would coincide with the time of the Vikings.
Prior to this possible discovery, the only site ever officially designated as evidence of Norse activity in the New World was L’Anse aux Meadows, hundreds of miles north, on the tip of the same island.
If additional excavation and testing indicate that the site was indeed made by Vikings, it will likely lead to changes being made to the history books—it would mean they found and settled North America almost half a century before Christopher Columbus arrived.
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