Primarily thanks to the History Channel’s TV show, more and more people have been fascinated with the Viking culture. But that only played a part in making the Norsemen famous to the laymen, as those with any interest in ancient history is hard pressed not to admit a fascination with the culture.
And that should come as no surprise, as the Vikings were incredibly advanced for the age in which they lived, both socially and technologically. Except for all the murder, rape, and pillaging, Vikings were some of the greatest inventors and some of the most open-minded cultures that ever existed.
To the surprise and delight of a team of researchers and of archaeologists worldwide, satellite imagery revealed a potential Viking site in Canada. It is too soon to confirm the origin of the buried settlement, but the timeline and several other so far unrevealed factors suggest that it may be indeed an old Viking settlement.
Newfoundland is where the site has been located, making it possibly the first Viking site found in North America in more than half a century. The team used satellite imagery and magnetometer surveys to take high-resolution images of ruins buried some eleven inches beneath ground level.
This was accomplished by using satellites located some 480 miles above the Earth to scan vast sections of North American seaboard. Roasted iron ore and sub-surface rectilinear features are currently the only things unearthed, although the team managed to carbon date the findings to sometime around 800 to 1300 A.D.
According to the team of archeologists that discovered the important archeological site,
If confirmed as Norse by further research, the site will show that the Vikings traveled much farther in North America than previously known, pushing the boundary of their explorations over 300 miles to the southwest of L’Anse Aux Meadows.
A ‘Norse’ date and ‘affiliation’ do look rather promising, at this still early stage in the project, but we simply need more work at this site and more specialist input and peer-reviewed data before being confident in stating this as fact.
Because of the importance of the investigation, the team’s efforts will be documented and featured in a new series in collaboration with BBC, a series which will premiere April 4th on PBS. Entitled “Vikings Unearthed”, the series will also approach the bloody and violent history of the Vikings, as well as the team’s efforts in uncovering the site.
Image source: Wikimedia