L'Anse aux Meadows

Newfoundland, Canada

At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America. The excavated remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings are similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland.

Dating to around the year 1000 (carbon dating estimate 990-1050 CE), L'Anse aux Meadows is the only site widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It is notable for its possible connection with the attempted colony of Vinland established by Leif Erikson around the same period or, more broadly, with Norse exploration of the Americas.

Today the area mostly consists of open, grassy lands; but 1000 years ago, there were forests which were beneficial in boat-building, house-building and for iron extraction. The remains of eight buildings were located. They are believed to have been constructed of sod placed over a wooden frame. Based on associated artifacts, the buildings were variously identified as dwellings or workshops.

L'Anse aux Meadows was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978.

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Newfoundland, Canada
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Details

Founded: 950-1050 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Canada

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Gabriel B (18 months ago)
So cool place, be ready to lear some fascinating surprises
NBC - Vicki Kell (19 months ago)
loved the scenery and the Viking settlement the most of NL trip, want to get back. Worth your time.
Davis D. Janowski (2 years ago)
I had wanted to travel here since I was a child growing up in Florida in the 70s and 80s and first began reading about archaeology. During a college course in nautical archaeology I finally decided that yes, at some point I would make the trip. It happened five years ago in 2012 after convincing my wife and daughter to go. We landed in Deer Lake and traveled north up the beautiful western peninsula. My wife gave me such a look, when, while changing planes in Toronto, the customs agent asked: "where to?" and I replied "Deer Lake" to which she replied, "where is that?". When I responded "Newfoundland" while staring into my wife's eyes, smirk on her face (as if to say, "where are you taking us!?"), the customs agent said that, well of course it is in Newfoundland and that's why she hadn't heard of it---no one goes there. I thrilled at that response, just my kind of place. And L'Anse aux Meadows was indeed at the edge of what seemed the end of the world. It lived up to all my expectations. We arrived on a cold summer day with it raining or misting, giving a good impression of why the Norse might have been challenged holding on to the site. The park, museum and recreated village are indeed amazing and well worth the trip if you are truly a lover of history, archaeology and beautiful, if remote places.
Jeanette Gladwin (2 years ago)
Very cool historical site. Well worth the visit to stand on visibly Viking inhabited lands.
Julie Wadsworth (2 years ago)
Historical Viking archaeological site has one reconstructed building with knowledgeable period-dressed guides. There is an introductory movie at the main building and gift shop. The rest, including archaeological sites is a self- guided tour on a well- marked wooden trail.
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