Early Norse Contact on Baffin Island  

“At three sites on Baffin Island, which the Norse called ‘Helluland’ or ‘land of stone slabs,’ and another in northern Labrador, the researchers have documented dozens of suspected Norse artifacts such as Scandinavian-style spun yarn, distinctively notched and decorated wood objects and whetstones for sharpening knives and axes.”

The evidence looks fairly compelling that there was at least some level of contact, which seems reasonable given that they knew the area well enough to give it a name. Interestingly there is evidence of rat droppings which implies Viking ships at Baffin Island as opposed to contact possibly established in the other direction.

An early article states that radio carbon dating on some spun yarn gives a date several hundred years prior to Viking contact, which suggests earlier contact with Europeans than previously thought.

» Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009

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