Possible early Viking settlement in North America explored

The new Viking settlement was found on the edge of Point Rosee in
Newfoundland (illustrated above) 400 miles south of another site at
L'Anse aux Meadows. They suggest that the Vikings' mastery of the
seas allowed them to venture to North America.   
There is so much speculation on possible discoverers of the Americas ranging from Polynesians, Japanese and Chinese to French Merovingians to a lost tribe of Israel, ancient Egyptians and sailors from the lost continent of Atlantis.  There are two statements that need to be said about this:

  1. An extended family group first crossed from Siberia to North America some 14,000 years ago, and survived, built sophisticated cultures and societies, and left undeniable evidence of their presence.  To give credit where credit is due, they discovered the Americas and no one else.
  2. Until solid scientific evidence establishing other groups as having visited the Americas is produced and peer reviewed, it remains in the realm of speculation.  And, yes, I have watched the various television pop science shows (some would say pseudo science) that present evidence of other early visitors to the continents. Interesting? Yes.  Conclusive?  No.
This find adds to the possibility of Viking explorations to the Americas potentially adding to the evidence supporting this theory. 

Here's the report - with an announcement of television programming covering the research.
*  *  *  *  *

Possible Viking discovery by archaeologist
could rewrite North American history

Using satellite imaging, an archaeologist may have found evidence of the 2nd Norse settlement in North America at a site in Newfoundland. With the use of pioneering satellite imagery analysis, excavation and investigation of archeological evidence, the team has uncovered what could be the first new Norse site to be discovered in North America in over 50 years. If confirmed by further research, the site at Point Rosee in Newfoundland will show that the Vikings traveled much farther into North America than previously known, pushing the boundary of their explorations over 300 miles to the southwest.

To date, scientists have known of only one other Viking site, found on the very northern tip of Newfoundland in Canada, at L'Anse Aux Meadows. In the 1960s, archaeologists uncovered the foundations of 1,000-year-old Viking buildings, signs of metalworking, iron nails and artifacts. The site appeared to pre-date Columbus' voyages to the New World by some 500 years, confirming that Norse explorers had reached North America as suggested in the Vinland sagas. For more than 50 years, scientists have searched for another Norse site.

Using infrared images from 400 miles in space, Parcak and her team looked at tens of thousands of square kilometers along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and Canada. Images taken in Point Rosee revealed possible human-made shapes under discolored vegetation. This intriguing evidence suggests the Vikings traveled farther south than previously known. The Newfoundland project was co-directed by Gregory Mumford, Ph.D., Parcak's husband and professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology. Preliminary excavations took place over a period of two and a half weeks in June 2015.

Parcak recently made international headlines when she was named winner of the 2016 TED Prize. She is an expert in satellite remote sensing for archaeology and wrote the first textbook in the field. Her methods have helped locate 17 potential pyramids in Egypt, in addition to 3,100 forgotten settlements and 1,000 lost tombs. She has also made major discoveries throughout the Roman Empire. She is a National Geographic Senior Fellow, TED Senior Fellow and a professor of archaeology at UAB. Parcak is also the founder and director of the UAB Laboratory for Global Observation.
The discovery is the subject of a two-hour special called "Vikings Unearthed." The program will first stream online at pbs.org/nova Monday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. CT to coincide with the premiere of a 90-minute version of the film in the U.K. on BBC One. A two-hour U.S. broadcast will follow Wednesday, April 6, at 8 p.m. CT on PBS.
Related stories:
Human Development & Genetics

Story Source:  Vaterials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham, original written by Tiffany Westry. "Possible Viking discovery by archaeologist could rewrite North American history." ScienceDaily. 1 April 2016.


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