New evidence of Viking life in America?

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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#61  Postby jamest » Apr 07, 2016 7:34 pm

felltoearth wrote:
jamest wrote:
Macdoc wrote:
jamest wrote:

Yes, it could have been any party exploring in that direction. Even today, somebody with basic knowledge and limited tools would build turf walls and try his hand at metallurgy in remote places.


Jamest you really need to learn more science..

Of course... I wasn't suggesting that it was easy to produce iron. All I was suggesting was that anybody who knew how to do it could chance their arm in such remote places. And that includes anyone from Europe after the Vikings. Also, if I were leader of any exploration into such realms, I think I'd be wanting to take such a guy with me.

All of the carbon-dating results were between about 1700 and 1900, which fits in nicely with European exploration into that part of the world.


I would be surprised if there was an undocumented settlement from that time period. Especially in the maritimes where there was a huge concern over who owned what where.

Maybe 'they' just settled down for the winter or until ship repairs were made, before moving on. There doesn't appear to be much in the way of artefacts to denote long-term occupation.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#62  Postby felltoearth » Apr 07, 2016 7:53 pm

You don't smelt iron in a temporary settlement. At least I wouldn't think so.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#63  Postby jamest » Apr 07, 2016 8:22 pm

felltoearth wrote:You don't smelt iron in a temporary settlement. At least I wouldn't think so.

You would if you needed to make something necessary, perhaps as a means to ship repairs or to protect the ship from icebergs, or perhaps to create an ice-breaker at the fore.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#64  Postby Sendraks » Apr 07, 2016 9:13 pm

jamest wrote:
You would if you needed to make something necessary, perhaps as a means to ship repairs or to protect the ship from icebergs, or perhaps to create an ice-breaker at the fore.


The vikings travelled in ice free waters. Icebreaking ships are a relatively modern invention.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#65  Postby jamest » Apr 07, 2016 9:30 pm

Sendraks wrote:
jamest wrote:
You would if you needed to make something necessary, perhaps as a means to ship repairs or to protect the ship from icebergs, or perhaps to create an ice-breaker at the fore.


The vikings travelled in ice free waters. Icebreaking ships are a relatively modern invention.

Yes, but I'm talking about explorers who might have wanted to explore further north and west from Europe who may have encountered difficulties with ice during these longer ventures. Knowing little if anything of the extreme weather in those realms, they may well have needed to adapt their ships to proceed or even escape. Constructing a metal ram or protective plate for the hull seems like a very possible scenario, imo. It's very easy for a ship to succumb to the ice, as anyone familiar with Shackleton's expedition to Antartica in 1914 will know.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#66  Postby The_Piper » Apr 07, 2016 9:59 pm

Newfoundland's weather isn't all that extreme temperature-wise, though if you're going in winter, you have to plan ahead, of course. I can't imagine seafaring explorers in the year 1700 who are smart enough to smelt their own iron not knowing about the cold weather in the Canadian maritimes. The place was very well-known by then, especially the coasts.
Of course the vikings suffered much harsher winters in Greenland for centuries.
That said, perhaps it's too early to break out the champagne, I don't know. (I'm not able to watch the documentary in my country. :thumbdown:)
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#67  Postby Sendraks » Apr 07, 2016 11:14 pm

jamest wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
jamest wrote:
You would if you needed to make something necessary, perhaps as a means to ship repairs or to protect the ship from icebergs, or perhaps to create an ice-breaker at the fore.


The vikings travelled in ice free waters. Icebreaking ships are a relatively modern invention.

Yes, but I'm talking about explorers who might have wanted to explore further north and west from Europe who may have encountered difficulties with ice during these longer ventures. Knowing little if anything of the extreme weather in those realms, they may well have needed to adapt their ships to proceed or even escape. Constructing a metal ram or protective plate for the hull seems like a very possible scenario, imo. It's very easy for a ship to succumb to the ice, as anyone familiar with Shackleton's expedition to Antartica in 1914 will know.


The russians I think were the earliest ti make ships with hulls designed to operate in icy envrions, although these were not ice breakers. The construction and shape of the hull was designed to be lifted out of the water by the pressure of ice squeezing on it, so the hull wouldn't be crushed. I think the oldesr of these designs goes back to the 11th or 12th century.

Ships with metal plates and rams to deal with ice were inventions that appeared in the 19th century.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#68  Postby felltoearth » Apr 07, 2016 11:21 pm

I'm still not sure why a temporary settlement would smelt their own iron when they could easily trade for smelted iron from Quebec City or Halifax or any of the nearby major ports. Seems like more trouble than is necessary.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#69  Postby Macdoc » Apr 07, 2016 11:23 pm

Jamest

Yes, but I'm talking about explorers who might have wanted to explore further north and west from Europe who may have encountered difficulties with ice during these longer ventures. Knowing little if anything of the extreme weather in those realms, they may well have needed to adapt their ships to proceed or even escape. Constructing a metal ram or protective plate for the hull seems like a very possible scenario, imo. It's very easy for a ship to succumb to the ice, as anyone familiar with Shackleton's expedition to Antartica in 1914 will know.


That's not the kind of thing done in a remote location. Metal cladding with some strength is a very very late addition to ship building. Copper plate was used mainly to prevent shipworm and is not strong.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#70  Postby Sendraks » Apr 07, 2016 11:29 pm

Plus the ability of a ship to force its way through ice requires a lot of consistent reliable power. That didn't appear until the advent of steam vessels. Even then, hulls designed to break through ice are a specific design. Slapping metal cladding over a wooden hull isn't going to cut it.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#71  Postby jamest » Apr 07, 2016 11:40 pm

The_Piper wrote:Newfoundland's weather isn't all that extreme temperature-wise

Ice sank The Titanic, 400 miles south of Newfoundland, in mid April.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#72  Postby Macdoc » Apr 07, 2016 11:46 pm

Plus the ability of a ship to force its way through ice requires a lot of consistent reliable power. That didn't appear until the advent of steam vessels. Even then, hulls designed to break through ice are a specific design. Slapping metal cladding over a wooden hull isn't going to cut it.


yup ..still a difficult challenge as some recently stranded modern ships have shown.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#73  Postby jamest » Apr 07, 2016 11:48 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Ships with metal plates and rams to deal with ice were inventions that appeared in the 19th century.

Ships constructed in European ports to deal with ice may have appeared in the 19th century, but the notion of using metal on a ship to break ice or protect wood from ice is hardly the hallmark of a genius.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#74  Postby Macdoc » Apr 08, 2016 12:02 am

Ideas are cheap...execution very difficult. Wooden vessels...are "alive" by design. They flex and shift ....metal does not want to do that.

The biggest use was copper plating to prevent hulls becoming swiss cheese from boring ship worms. Copper has some give as well.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#75  Postby Veida » Apr 08, 2016 12:03 am

felltoearth wrote:You don't smelt iron in a temporary settlement. At least I wouldn't think so.

As I said earlier - it might be a good idea to smelt iron where there is plenty of wood. Not too much of that stuff on Greenland.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#76  Postby jamest » Apr 08, 2016 12:07 am

felltoearth wrote:I'm still not sure why a temporary settlement would smelt their own iron when they could easily trade for smelted iron from Quebec City or Halifax or any of the nearby major ports. Seems like more trouble than is necessary.

Well the 'hypothesis' is that the men on the ship(s) were in difficulties of sorts, sufficient to head for the nearest land and mend or adapt their ship(s) themselves. It might even have happened before those settlements you mentioned had been founded, but in any case they were both several hundred miles from the research site.

Of course I'm just playing devil's advocate to the theory that metallurgy in Newfoundland = vikings = champagne. Those waters were later crossed by many Europeans, and the notion that at least some of them might have been forced to temporarily shelter in Newfoundland (or anywhere in that region) and have the desperate need to create something out of iron, seems to me quite a likely scenario sufficient to put the champagne on hold, particularly given the results of the carbon dating.
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New evidence of Viking life in America?

#77  Postby felltoearth » Apr 08, 2016 12:08 am

Veida wrote:
felltoearth wrote:You don't smelt iron in a temporary settlement. At least I wouldn't think so.

As I said earlier - it might be a good idea to smelt iron where there is plenty of wood. Not too much of that stuff on Greenland.


But that would suggest a more permanent settlement which is my point. A permanent settlement going unnoticed on a prominent peninsula of land in the time from 1700s-1930 seems unlikely. Such a settlement would likely be much older – pre British/French settlement.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#78  Postby jamest » Apr 08, 2016 12:10 am

Macdoc wrote:Ideas are cheap...execution very difficult. Wooden vessels...are "alive" by design. They flex and shift ....metal does not want to do that.

The biggest use was copper plating to prevent hulls becoming swiss cheese from boring ship worms. Copper has some give as well.

If you're in a desperate situation you'll try anything, even if it's not been tried before.
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New evidence of Viking life in America?

#79  Postby felltoearth » Apr 08, 2016 12:22 am

jamest wrote:
Macdoc wrote:Ideas are cheap...execution very difficult. Wooden vessels...are "alive" by design. They flex and shift ....metal does not want to do that.

The biggest use was copper plating to prevent hulls becoming swiss cheese from boring ship worms. Copper has some give as well.

If you're in a desperate situation you'll try anything, even if it's not been tried before.


Something tells me that people who are desperate aren't the sort who would have supplies for smelting. In the period of 1700-1930 in a well settled area of North America, what would be so desperate about their situation that they would need to smelt iron?
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#80  Postby Macdoc » Apr 08, 2016 1:09 am

For use in ice ....oak trees are far far stronger...you have an unwarranted belief in metal.

The Fram is perhaps the most famous for being built to with stand ice.

Image

Construction:

Keel- made from two pieces of American elm fourteen inches square.

Frames- Italian oak, grown to shape (the grain in the perfect alignment for maximum strength) and obtained by Archer from the Norwegian navy where they had been seasoning for nearly 30 years. Finished frames were 20 inches wide.

Stem and stern- Four feet of juniper-doweled oak.

Hull- Carvel built, planking butted edge to edge to avoid the ice being able to gain purchase. There were three layers on the closely spaced frames, first three inch planks, then four inch planks and then an outer layer of greenheart sheathing (greenheart is a very strong and dense South

Inner hull- the frames on the inside were covered with four inch thick pitch pine fitted about 450 white pine knees. Knees are taken from the point where a trees trunk sends out major roots, a naturally very strong right angle.

Iron strapswere finally wrapped around the hull at the bow and stern before painting.

Rudder and Propeller- these could be lifted into two wells inside the hull for protection from the ice. The propeller was two bladed and designed to stop vertically so that it was protected by the rudder post. Losing a propeller bade was a common mishap in when working in ice.


http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctic ... s/fram.php
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