It`s around 50 years since they discovered the first proof that Icelandic sagas about the exploits of Leif Eriksson were correct:
In the 1960s two Norwegian researchers, Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad, discovered and excavated the Viking base camp at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland—the first confirmed Viking outpost in the Americas. Dated to between 989 and 1020, the camp boasted three Viking halls, as well as an assortment of huts for weaving, ironworking, and ship repair.
Now they`ve found a second settlement. And what`s more – they`ve also discovered what they believe to have been contact and possible trade between the Vikings and the people who already lived there. I find that incredibly interesting. I think I`ve already mentioned in an earlier blog post how they`ve found traces of Native-American DNA, dating back to the Viking age, in Icelandic people of today (I even wrote an Eric Northman fanfiction about it 🙂 ), and now we may learn more about this contact. Read a National Geographic article about the Native-American DNA found on Iceland.
I`m incredibly fascinated by this. What was this contact? According to the sagas, which were written a long time after Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic, there was hostility between the Vikings and the Native-Americans. Apparently the Vikings found the Native-Americans “ugly” and called them “skrællinger”, which means weak and cowardly. I find that very strange given that the Vikings traded with and married into the local people wherever else they went.
It seems to me that the Vikings can`t have found the Native-Americans that bad looking if they brought at least one woman back with them to Iceland – and had children with her. I may be naive and romantic but I would love it if the archaeologists now find that the Vikings and the Native-Americans actually did trade with one another and that at least one blue-eyed Viking fancied that dark-haired local girl enough to bring her home with him (voluntarily on her part, I hope). Yeah, I am being both naive and romantic…
What did you bring home with you from Vinland, Leif?