A research group has taken a closer look at tree trunks at the World Heritage site L’Anse aux Meadows in eastern Newfoundland, where Vikings built a settlement about a thousand years ago.
In tree trunks they can find traces of a massive, almost contemporary solar storm in the form of radiocarbon in the annual rings. Then they were compared with signs indicating when trees were cut down with metal tools, which only Vikings had at their disposal. The results from three trees were consistent, according to the study published in the journal temper nature.
The study indicates that the Vikings were there in the year 1021. No exact year like this has ever been given before, but earlier carbon-14 surveys and later Icelandic fairy tales suggested it was sometime around the time with broad strokes. The fact that the Vikings were there in 1021 means that they arrived in America at least 471 years before Columbus did.
America was probably known in Genoa, the birthplace of Columbus long before he left, according to findings such as Italian researchers Presented earlier this year. In the 1340s, a Genoese monk spread stories about a country called “Marcalada”, western Greenland. Icelandic stories mention “the land” that researchers believe is the Labrador Peninsula north of Newfoundland.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”