Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Yarn made this possible!

If you are interested in Vikings and Viking Archaeology, you probably know that there is L'Anse aux Meadows, a Norse or Viking settlement in Canada. This was the first, and up to now only, known proof for the arrival of the Norse in Vinland (that's how they seem to have called the fabled continent way, way over the sea).

Now I have stumbled over an article published in National Geographic, and there is a second settlement where finds very, very strongly indicate that it was not made by indigenous population. The finds are from Baffin Island, in Canada, far above the Arctic Circle and north of Hudson Bay. Archaeologist Patricia Sutherland looked at the finds, made in the 1980s by a missionary, in the archive of a museum in Quebec in 1999 - and found out that the yarn which was part of the finds is a match for thread finds from the Norse colony in Greenland. Since the indigenous people of Baffin Island did not spin, this is the first very strong hint it was a Norse colony.

Recent excavation in the place seem to corroborate this - they found whetstones. But isn't it nice that the yarn finds opened up the way?

1 comment:

Cathy Raymond said...

Thanks for this post. I wasn't aware of the National Geographic article or the Baffin Island finds. It will be good to resolve the long-debated question of whether Vikings found the New World.