Pat Sutherland, archaeologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, presented her findings of what appears to be a Viking outpost on Baffin Island at the annual meeting of the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology last month.
A Viking ship near the Westman Islands. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
The discovery could indicate that Norse voyageurs traveled further north than earlier believed, long before John Cabot, Martin Frobisher and Sir John Franklin came in search for the Northwest Passage, as stated on CBC Radio.
This would be the second archeological site in North America with Viking remains dating back to the 11th century; the first was excavated at L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland in 1960.
In Iceland, Leifur ‘the lucky’ Eiríksson is hailed as the true discoverer of America (and not Christopher Columbus). His father, Eiríkur ‘the Red,’ moved from Iceland to Greenland and is considered the founder of the Norse settlement there.
According to the Saga of the Icelanders, Leifur is said to have established the first Norse settlement on the continent in 1000 AD in an area called Vínland, which some believe to be L’Anse Aux Meadows.
Click here to listen to the interview with Pat Sutherland on CBC Radio about her findings on Baffin Island.