New evidence of Viking life in America?

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New evidence of Viking life in America?

#1  Postby DougC » Apr 01, 2016 1:02 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35935725

B.B.C. Article

A new discovery has revealed that the Vikings may have travelled hundreds of miles further into North America than previously thought. It's well known that they reached the tip of the continent more than 1,000 years ago, but the full extent of their exploration has remained a mystery, writes historian Dan Snow.
After a long hike across boggy ground and through thick pine forests, clutching pepper spray to protect against bear attacks, Sarah Parcak and her small team of archaeologists stood on an exposed, wind-blasted headland in North America.

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Exhausted but happy, they had been led to Point Rosee in Newfoundland by the most high-tech weaponry in the modern archaeological arsenal - satellite data captured 383 miles (600km) above the Earth. But once here they were back to using trowels and brushes. I joined them to see how this powerful combination of new and old allowed them to make what could be a seismic discovery.

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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#2  Postby tuco » Apr 01, 2016 8:46 am

Very cool. Makes me wonder, were their ships capable of sailing that far?

She immediately checked that there could be no other explanation for these deposits. Newfoundland historian Olaf Janzen was certain, no other groups of settlers roasted bog iron in Newfoundland. Nothing has been proven yet, but it looks like Parcak might have found evidence for Viking exploration in North America that goes much further than just that one site discovered in the 60s.


If someone would manage sail Viking ship in similar fashion to Heyerdhal's Ra/Ra II .. oh we may find soon enough:

Opportunity to Sail a Viking Ship Across the Atlantic

The ship will leave her home port in Haugesund, Norway, in May 2016 to voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean.


https://www.seahistory.org/opportunity- ... -atlantic/
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#3  Postby Macdoc » Apr 01, 2016 8:57 am

One of the questions was navigating out of sight of land and there is some evidence that a sunstone was in use that allowed Vikings to "find the sun" despite clouds.

http://news.discovery.com/earth/rocks-f ... 130311.htm
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#4  Postby tuco » Apr 01, 2016 9:02 am

To be honest I find it hard to believe they would sail that far on purpose. Then again, maybe my lack of belief comes from ignorance. If it was accident, then it would make sense to me they did not have means to navigate, in this case.

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edit: btw is the sunstone enough to navigate?
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#5  Postby Sendraks » Apr 01, 2016 9:48 am

tuco wrote:Very cool. Makes me wonder, were their ships capable of sailing that far?


The evidence shows that the Vikings reached America, which at the time was a feat that could only have been achieved via boat.

Your question of "how far?" is so vague as to be almost meaningless.

How far from where? Denmark? Iceland? Greneland?
What length of journey across water are you envisaging when you ask your hopelessly vague question?

tuco wrote:If someone would manage sail Viking ship in similar fashion to Heyerdhal's Ra/Ra II .. oh we may find soon enough:

As previously state, there is already evidence that shows the Vikings reached North America, the article in question isn't about that. It's about that the Vikings made it further inland into America than previously thought. Although this should be obvious to anyone actually paying attention to the article.


tuco wrote:Opportunity to Sail a Viking Ship Across the Atlantic

The ship will leave her home port in Haugesund, Norway, in May 2016 to voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean.


https://www.seahistory.org/opportunity- ... -atlantic/


It should provide some fascinating insights into how the Viking's managed the voyage, rather than whether they managed the voyage or not. Because we already know they did.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#6  Postby Weaver » Apr 01, 2016 4:13 pm

Were their ships capable of sailing "that far"?

Um ... yes. They already made it to L'anse aux Meadows. Going further south would have been simple.

Their ships were amazingly seaworthy - they'd already used them to spread literally all over and around Europe and much of Asia.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#7  Postby Sendraks » Apr 01, 2016 4:14 pm

Also, the journey across the Atlantic wouldn't necessarily have been made in a single lengthy journey. Most likely the Vikings would've travelled from settlements on Iceland, via Greenland and then onto the Americas. Still a tremendous feat but, not exactly the case of the setting out from Denmark and then just hoving straight across the Atlantic.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#8  Postby Weaver » Apr 01, 2016 4:28 pm

Absolutely - which is precisely why the initial evidence was from Erik's Saga and the Greenlandinga Sagas, describing how Greenland-based Norsemen made the travels to the Americas.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#9  Postby tuco » Apr 01, 2016 5:24 pm

One thing is to sail by coast another to cross Atlantic, and especially to make it back with regards to navigation, but yes thanks for clarification. I missed the first paragraph when opening the article. My ignorance was noted.

Another interesting or important note is that in this case:

Sarah Parcak uses satellite imagery to look for irregularities in the soil, potentially caused by man-made structures which lie beneath.


new technique or tool for discovering such sites.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#10  Postby The_Piper » Apr 02, 2016 6:41 am

:popcorn:
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#11  Postby The_Piper » Apr 02, 2016 6:40 pm

It's exciting and awesome to find evidence that they were even further south.
Maybe I'm ignorant, but it's not surprising to me that/if they were at Point Rosee. It's still on the same island as L'anse aux Meadows.
Interesting OT, that they carried bear spray. If they think that's necessary in Newfoundland, maybe I should go back to carrying mine here. :shock:
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#12  Postby kiore » Apr 02, 2016 6:55 pm

We actually have much clearer evidence of people sailing much further than this across oceans in the Polynesian diaspora across the Pacific, and this in canoes, rather than longboats, so I don't think it at all incredible than Norse could have made this trip and gone even further than these sites. Sunstone or not. Now the success rate of such voyages is another thing, maybe many failed trips.
Sunstones were presumably crystal, maybe Icelandic spar, which could be used to detect the position of the sun even in heavy cloud. The Polynesians navigated by stars and currents and probably seabirds, no real reason why the Norse couldn't have managed even without the sunstone, OK many days of heavy cloud would make this very complex, but that it happened proves it was not impossible.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#13  Postby tuco » Apr 02, 2016 6:56 pm

Apparently, the evidence at L'anse aux Meadows is robust (this I was ignorant of), unlike at Point Rosee. At least for the time being.

As Weaver noted, another site would confirm the Sagas to be based on reality, which cannot be said about every historic document. They imply round trips which, unlike accident, is significant for our knowledge of those time - navigation without compass and other tools.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#14  Postby Macdoc » Apr 02, 2016 7:28 pm

There was regular traffic to Greenland and Iceland ....both difficult voyages and the Greenland settlement lasted something like 400 years
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Greenland

I suspect we will find much more over time and beyond NL. Cape Breton almost a certainty
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#15  Postby Veida » Apr 02, 2016 10:26 pm

They needed timber, for one thing, for houses and boats et cetera. I don't think there was any in Greenland.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#16  Postby Macdoc » Apr 03, 2016 12:30 am

Or Iceland.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#17  Postby jamest » Apr 03, 2016 12:30 am

kiore wrote:We actually have much clearer evidence of people sailing much further than this across oceans in the Polynesian diaspora across the Pacific, and this in canoes, rather than longboats, so I don't think it at all incredible than Norse could have made this trip and gone even further than these sites.

I'm no expert, but the winds are predominately westerly and often strong in the North Atlantic. How does this compare to the region you've mentioned?
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#18  Postby Onyx8 » Apr 03, 2016 12:42 am

Those fuckers used to carry their boats over mountains ffs. These are some serious tough mofos.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#19  Postby jamest » Apr 03, 2016 12:58 am

Never mind, please ignore.
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Re: New evidence of Viking life in America?

#20  Postby kiore » Apr 03, 2016 1:08 am

jamest wrote:
kiore wrote:We actually have much clearer evidence of people sailing much further than this across oceans in the Polynesian diaspora across the Pacific, and this in canoes, rather than longboats, so I don't think it at all incredible than Norse could have made this trip and gone even further than these sites.

I'm no expert, but the winds are predominately westerly and often strong in the North Atlantic. How does this compare to the region you've mentioned?


It really doesn't matter it only matters that they knew that the wind blew in certain directions at different times so even the wind and the current can be a sort of compass. But the Polynesians heading east across the Pacific would have gone against the wind to reach South America and with the trade winds to double back to the the islands, the preferred direction across the South Pacific today for sail craft is a westwards crossing with the Eastern one far to the South through the Southern Ocean.
Norse sailors familiar with the crossing to Iceland could probably use the same navigation system to reach Greenland and then the coast of North America.
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