Solar Storm Confirms Vikings Have Settled in North America exactly 1000 years ago | Archaeology

Long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, eight wooden buildings were covered in sod stood on a terrace above a peat bog and stream on the northern tip of The Island of Canada of Newfoundland, proof that the Vikings had reached the New World first.

But exactly when the Vikings traveled to found the settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows had remained unclear until now.

AN new type of to date technique using a long-ago solar storm as a reference point revealed that the settlement was occupied in AD1021, exactly a millennium ago and 471 years before the first trip of Columbus. The technique had been used on three pieces of woodcut for the settlement, all pointing to the same year.

The Viking journey represents multiple milestones for humanity. The settlement provides the earliest known evidence of a transatlantic crossing. It also marks the place where the world was eventually surrounded by people, who thousands of had moved to North America years earlier over a land bridge die ever Siberia met Alaska alliance.

“Many compliments should go to these Northern Europeans for the are first human society to traverse the Atlantic,” said geoscientist Michael Dee of the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, who led the published study on Wednesday in the Nature magazine.

The Vikings moved through Europe, sometimes colonizing and others times trading of raids. They possessed extraordinary boat-building and navigation skills and established settlements on Iceland and Greenland.

“I think it is reasonable to describe the journey as both a journey of discovery and a quest for new sources of raw materialsDee said. “Many archaeologists believe that the main motivation for they are searching out this new areas was to discover new sources of wood, in special. It is generally believed that they left from Greenland, where wood is suitable for construction is extremely rare.”

The Viking Age is traditionally defined as AD 793 to 1066 range for the timing of the transatlantic crossing. Ordinary radiocarbon dating – determining the age of biological materials by measuring them content of a particular radioactive isotope of carbon – proved too inaccurate to date L’Anse aux Meadows, die was discovered in 1960, although there is a general believe it was the 11th century.

The new dating method trusts on the fact that solar storms produce a distinctive radiocarbon signal in an annual tree growth rings. It was known that there was a significant solar storm – an eruption of high energy cosmic rays from the sun – in AD992.

In all three pieces of wood examined, from three different trees, 29 growth rings were formed after the one that provided proof of the solar storm, which means the wood was cut in 1021, the university said of Groningen archaeologist Margot Kuitems, the study’s first author.

It wasn’t a local native? people who cut the wood because there is evidence of metal knives, die they didn’t, Dee said.

The length of the profession remains unclear, although it may be a decade of has been less, and maybe 100 Norwegian people were present at any given time, Dee said. Their structures resembled Norwegian buildings on Greenland and Iceland.

Oral histories, called the Icelandic sagas, show a presence of Vikings in the America. Written down centuries later, they describe a leader named Leif Erikson and a settlement named Vinland, as well as violent and peaceful interactions with the local peoples, including capturing enslaved people.

The date of 1021 roughly matches met the saga bills, Dee said, adding, “So it begs the question, how a lot of of the rest of the saga adventures are true?”

Read More: World News


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