Possible Viking settlement discovered in Canada would be second ever in North America

Since the first Viking settlement in North America was discovered in 1960, suggesting the Norse peoples had reached North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus, archaeologists have long searched for more Norse landmarks on the continent, but to no avail.

According to a report in the New York Times, Sarah H. Parcak (pronounced PAR-kak), a leading space archaeologist working with Canadian experts and the science series NOVA, believe they have uncovered a second Norse settlement further south in Newfoundland. Infrared satellite images taken from space nearly 400 miles above Earth’s surface suggested the existence of manmade structures underneath discolored vegetation.

Dr. Parcak is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who according to the New York Times report “won the $1 million TED prize last year for her pioneering work using satellite images to expose the looting of ancient Egyptian antiquities and is using it to globally crowdsource new archaeological sites from space.”

Magnetometer readings of the site, called Point Rosee by researchers, showed elevated levels of iron readings. According to the report, “trenches that were then dug exposed Viking-style turf walls along with ash residue, roasted ore called bog iron and a fire-cracked boulder—signs of metallurgy not associated with native people of the region.”

NOVA will air the two-hour documentary titled “Vikings Unearthed” online at pbs.org/nova in the United States at 3:30pm (EST) Monday, and on PBS at 9pm Wednesday.

[H/T New York Times]

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