Monday, July 7, 2014

L'Anse aux Meadows Viking Heritage Site

I would be remiss if I did not mention at least a little something about my visit to St. Anthony, Newfoundland while on my vacation. It wasn't a spot where I learned much about my family history. In fact, I'm not sure any of my ancestors ever lived in St. Anthony. We went there to visit the UNESCO Norse, or what we would more commonly call Viking, heritage site in the nearby community of L'Anse aux Meadows.

"Discovered in 1960, this is the first authentic Norse site found in North America and could be Leif Ericsson's short -lived Vinland camp. Some time about AD 100 Norse seafarers established a base from which they explored southwards.The traces of bog iron found - the first known example of iron smelting in the new world - in conjunction with evidence of carpentry suggest that boat repair was an important activity. The distance from their homelands and conflict with the Native people may have led the Norse to abandon the site."

What is actually left of the Norse village is barely distinguishable in this image but if you look closely you can see the bumps of earth that has grown over the foundation of walls where the shelter for people living at this camp.


Nearby, reconstructions have been made to give visitors a sense of what the structures would have been like.



What does any of this have to do with my dead people? Well, if you regularly read my blog you know I have recently had my DNA test done through Ancestry.com. In my results I had a large percentage of Scandinavian DNA; 18%. However, my research has not led me to any Scandinavian ancestors. Could my ancestors in Newfoundland have been Norse at some point?? Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

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