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Later, they sailed out and eastward from there along the shore...: New evidence for Norse voyaging from L’Anse aux Meadows

Author(s): Kevin Smith

Year: 2014

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Summary

Among the most enduring questions historical archaeologists face are how to disentangle relationships between written and archaeological records, especially in the complex narratives and material records of first contact situations. The Norse discoveries and explorations in North America surely rank among the most contentious of these. While excavations at L’’Anse aux Meadows firmly documented a Norse exploration base in Newfoundland, questions remain about the nature and extent of that exploration. In 2008, a jasper fire-starter was recovered during Parks Canada’’s investigations north of the largest turf-walled Norse longhouse at the site, bringing the number of jasper fire-starter spalls from L’Anse aux Meadows to eleven. Instrumental Neutron Activation and pXRF analyses of these and a suite of geological jasper samples gathered from outcrops across the North Atlantic provide new information on the locations from which the Norse sailed, areas to which they traveled, and locations where they may have encountered First Nations/Native American people. This paper explores these issues, querying Icelandic documentary records in new light gained from studying objects in context.


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Later, they sailed out and eastward from there along the shore...: New evidence for Norse voyaging from L’Anse aux Meadows. Kevin Smith. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436714)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-14,12

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America