Newfoundland, Canada – Past June, archeologists had found in Point Rosee, located in Newfoundland, traces of what seems to be a Viking hearth surrounded by a wall. It is yet to be confirmed that the structure was made by Vikings, as L’Anse aux Meadows, also in Newfoundland, is the only confirmed Viking settlement to date.
Since the discovery of L’Anse Aux Meadows, researches have been looking for more signs of Viking colonization and settlement efforts, and they seem to have found them through satellite imagery technology.
It is through the histories known as “sagas” that historians have an idea of how the Vikings reached North America and tried to colonize the land. An excavation was performed by a team of archaeologists to find more evidence that can back up the claim that Vikings did build the structures, as Native Americans also were present in the region at the estimated time of building.
The site at Point Rosee was found through satellite imagery, a method widely applied to also find Egyptian structures by surveying geological points where there may be remains of an undiscovered ruin. Egyptians built their structures using stone predominantly, but Vikings relied much more on wood, so their settlements could hardly withstand the passing of time.
Archaeologist Sarah Parcak is to be credited for the discovery. She was not looking for Viking settlements, but rather examining the plant life of the region. What got her attention where dark, straight lines on the ground, which are an indicator of human intervention. The place was surveyed and it was found that the hearth contained remains of charcoal and iron ore.
More evidence than just the remains
What leads researchers to say that the hearth and walls at Point Rosee were built by settling Vikings is that the location is perfect for that endeavor. In Point Rosee, potential colonizers would have had easy access to the beaches and a perfect strategic point as you can see afar in most directions without inconveniences.
The nearby shores also display a reduced amount of rocks, which is an advantage for beaching ships; the coast was teeming with fishing possibilities. The soil and climate were also determined to be ideal for agriculture, and there is plenty of wildlife to be hunted for sustain. It all seems to suggest that Point Rosee was the ideal point for settling humans, but the stronger piece of evidence lies in bog iron, which is formed in rivers by joining the seeping iron particles coming from streams in the mountains, down to the shore. Vikings were known to rely on bog iron to forge the nails used to assemble their ships.
L’Anse aux Meadows also contained clear traces of bog iron, which suggests that Viking settlers knew that they had to seek a similar location that would provide the ferrous ore so they could repair their ships.The Meadows were determined as Norse settlements thanks to the Viking sagas, which proves their historical accuracy. If the Point Rosee remains are confirmed to be Norse, then we might find a whole new perspective on the colonization of North America.
Source: National Geographic