Technology · June 22, 2022

The Vikings settled in North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus, a study shows

The Vikings reached America 500 years ago Christoph Columbusnew findings published in the journal Nature Demonstrate.

A team of researchers at L’Anse aux Meadows, an archaeological site in Newfoundland, Canada, used advanced dating techniques to confirm the earliest date of European settlement of the Americas: 1021 AD.

The investigation focused on three pieces of wood from three different trees, all of which date back to the time that can be attributed archaeologically to the Vikings.

Each piece of wood showed evidence of cutting and cutting with blades made of metal, a material not used by indigenous people, the study found.

signs of a solar storm

The exact year AD 1021 could be pinpointed because of a massive solar storm in AD 992 that produced a distinct radiocarbon signal in tree rings the following year.

“The fact that our results converge on three different trees in the same year is remarkable and unexpected. This coincidence strongly suggests Norse activity at L’Anse aux Meadows in AD 1021,” the study states.

These insights could serve as a new reference point for gathering future insights into transatlantic activities. The study said it could also reveal details about the initial consequences of cultural interactions, “such as the transmission of knowledge and the potential exchange of genetic information, biota and pathologies.”

“How AD 1021 relates to overall Norse transatlantic activity is a subject of future research. Nonetheless, our results provide a chronological anchor for further investigation into the consequences of their westernmost spread,” the study reads.

L’Anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows is a Unesco World Heritage Site at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada. It is an 11th-century Viking settlement and contains the earliest evidence of the very first European presence in North America.

The site consists of eight half-timbered lawn buildings with three dwellings, a smithy and four workshops, all similar in style to those found in northern Greenland and Iceland of the same period.