Fascinating New Study Determines Vikings Were In America Hundreds Of Years Before Columbus

viking ship

iStockphoto / MR1805

A fascinating new study has determined that the Vikings were in North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus crossed the Ocean Blue in 1492.

Not only that, but the study determined that the Norse explorers were thriving and had set up a trade route between North America, Greenland, and Europe hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus claimed to have ‘discovered’ America.

The study titled ‘Timber imports to Norse Greenland: lifeline or luxury?’ was published this week in the Cambridge University Press journal Antiquity. And it has confirmed what many historians have known for centuries: the Vikings had a foothold in North America long before it was ‘discovered’ by Columbus.

It is the manner in which this study was able to determine how Norse travelers made it to North America hundreds of years before Columbus that is fascinating.

Using ancient wood samples from Greenland dating between 985 and 1450 AD, they were able to determine timber used in Greenland was imported from the Vikings who were active in North America:

“The author uses microscopic anatomical analyses to determine the taxa and provenance of wood from five Norse Greenlandic sites. The results show that while the needs of most households were met by local woodlands and driftwood, elite farms had access to timber imports from Northern Europe and North America.”

An excerpt from the study published in an article in The Times says “Journeys were being made from Greenland to North America throughout the entirety of the period of Norse settlement. Resources were being acquired by the Norse from North America for far longer than previously thought.”

The wood samples from Greenland predated European travel to North America. using modern analysis, they looked into the cellular structure of the ancient wood samples to determine their origins.

Amongst those samples were Jack Pine and Hemlock, two trees which were only found in North America at that time. They were the key to unlocking this monumental revelation that Christopher Columbus was 500 years behind the Vikings.

They also determined other samples were Scots pine, Beech, and Oak which came from Europe. So the Greenland vikings/Norse settlers were working on a trade route between Europe, Greenland, and North America for hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage.

An article in the NY Post notes that this is far from the first time society has been presented with evidence that Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first to settle the United States.

But what this new study has shown is that Greenland Vikings were settling North America for a much longer period of time and earlier than previously thought.

The Post article notes that it remains a mystery why the Vikings’ civilization in North America disappeared after the 14th century.

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