Huge Discovery About Vikings Just Came From Space

They may have made it further into America than we ever knew
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2016 6:20 PM CDT
Huge Discovery About Vikings Just Came From Space
A man in Viking costume.   (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan/PA)

A "high-tech Indiana Jones" may have just done what no one else has been able to for 55 years: find a second Viking settlement in North America, the Washington Post reports. "Typically in archaeology, you only ever get to write a footnote in the history books, but what we seem to have at Point Rosee may be the beginning of an entirely new chapter," archaeologist Sara Parcak tells the BBC. Parcak used images taken by satellites 400 miles above the Earth to find what appeared to be evidence that Vikings made it hundreds of miles further into North America than previously known. Parcak has used the same technique to find 17 pyramids, 1,000 tombs, and 3,000 forgotten settlements. But this newest discovery could change everything we know about Vikings in North America.

The first—and so far only—Viking settlement in North America was found in 1960 at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, the New York Times reports. Parcak's site is 300 miles southwest at Point Rosee. After spotting discolorations and patterns in the satellite images, she had to hike through bogs and forests while worrying about bear attacks to confirm her suspicions. Some digging revealed a stone cracked by fire, scraps of iron ore, and Viking-style turf walls. “Either it’s … an entirely new culture that looks exactly like the Norse,” Parcak tells the Post, “or it’s the westernmost Norse site that’s ever been discovered.” And that means there could more undiscovered sites showing Vikings settled deep into North America hundreds of years before the arrival of Columbus. (A hiker found a 1,200-year-old Viking sword.)

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