A team of researchers in Newfoundland and Labrador have found a potential site of the Vikings.
A Norse-like hearth and eight kilograms of early bog iron have been discovered near the coast of Newfoundland, researcher Sarah Parcak said, as reported by CBC News. “When we started the search, I thought we wouldn’t find anything Norse. I hypothesized that we would find evidence of indigenous people,” she said.
Parcak, who is a professor at the University of Alabama, said the images captured from 400 miles up in space showed signs of discolored soil and changes in vegetation – which are known to be indications of something hidden inside the Earth’s surface, CNN reports.
This site, known as Point Rosee, is the second one that indicates a Viking settlement. The first one – called L-Anse aux Meadows, around 300 miles south of Point Rosee – was discovered in the 1960s. It is believed to be the first contact between Europe and North America, as many as 500 years before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas.
Parcak said the discovery of the site points to a Norse presence in the area. “We did not find one single shred of any [contradictory] evidence, so that leaves two options,” she said. “It’s either a new culture that looks and presents exactly like Norse, or Norse. But obviously we have a lot of work left in front of us before we can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is.”
A documentary called “Vikings Unearthed” will cover the exploration of the site – it will air on BBC and PBS and would be streamed online at pbs.org/nova.
Archeologist Douglas Bolender said, with the new discovery, “we could end up with a much longer period of Norse activity in the New World.”
“A site like Point Rosee has the potential to reveal what that initial wave of Norse colonization looked like, not only for Newfoundland but for the rest of the North Atlantic,” Bolender said, according to National Geographic.
Further research will be carried out to confirm whether the site was indeed a Viking settlement. Parcak and her team are expected to return to the site during the winters to continue the research.