L’Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the northern edge of Newfoundland’s northern Peninsula. This is the site of the only authenticated Viking settlement in the New World. Historians had long been convinced that Norsemen sailed from Iceland and landed somewhere in the Atlantic coast of North America. Viking stories of a place called Vinland, named after the wild grapes found there, seem to suggest so. Helge Instad’s 1960 discovery provided the evidentiary confirmation. The Norwegian explorer discovered a cluster of overgrown mounds at L’Anse aux Meadows. He spent seven years excavating the site and his discovery proved beyond a doubt that the remains were that of a 1,000 year-old Viking settlement – 500 years earlier than when Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New World.
In addition to being the first verified Viking settlement in North America, L’Anse aux Meadows has the distinction of being the first UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, an honor that was bestowed in 1978. Today, visitors can tour three of the six original, reconstructed sod houses. The artifacts discovered at the site are on display at the Visitor Reception Centre, along with exhibits of the Viking way of life. There is also a forge, smelter, lumberyard, and remains such as sewing and knitting tools.
Carroll, Donald. Insider’s Guide Canada. Edison: Hunter Publishing, Inc, 1996. ISBN: 1556507100.
“L’Anse aux Meadows.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows>
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