As I mentioned, L’Anse Aux Meadows was discovered in 1960 on the very Northeast tip of Newfoundland. Acting on a hunch about a Norse story mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas, an oral history of Norwegian people, two Icelandic explorers discovered the Norse settlement, which was described as Vinland in the ancient texts. The name you could guess means Wine Land, implying the settlement supported the growing of grapes. This originally led people to believe that Vinland was actually located in Massachusetts, but that theory was proven wrong according to FlightHub.
The discovery itself was not a new one. Locals from the area had long described one of Canada’s largest archaeological finds as an “old Indian camp”, that only when combed through by the explorers was determined to be very significant. So, how did they know the settlement had Norse origins? The structures found there, the remains of nine buildings, were built in a Norse style and were filled with Norse artifacts. The style of these homes and the state of the artifacts made it clear that these structures dated back quite a long way. Think before Cartier, and before Columbus, these houses were built around 1000 AD, becoming the first known and furthest European settlement before the time of Columbus.
While they discovered that Norse people built and lived at the site, they also got clues as to their dietary standards. Food found at the site included butternuts and evidence of hunting. Local game at the time would have included caribou, wolf, fox, and bear in addition to sea life that would include fish, seal, and whale. The presence of butternut is particularly interesting as Norsemen would have needed to travel to southern portions of Newfoundland to find this source of food according to FlightHub. This Northern settlement would have faced very harsh Winters, with evidence suggesting the Norse people may not have stayed at L’Anse Aux Meadows for a long time due to food shortages and hostile weather.
FlightHub highly recommends visiting this site if you are interested in the history of Canada and North America. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Site Of Canada, L’Anse Aux Meadows represents some of the oldest European artifacts on Canadian soil and is a must see for history buffs everywhere.
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