NewFoundland - L'anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows is een Viking-nederzetting, gelegen op de noordelijkste tip van Newfoundland. De site werd ontdekt en opgegraven door de archeologen Helge en Stine Ingstadt in 1961. Er lagen minstens 8 gebouwen, waaronder een smederij.
De nederzetting stamt vermoedelijk uit de vroege 11e eeuw. De meeste geschiedkundigen gaan ervan uit dat L'Anse aux Meadows de kolonie in Vinland is die volgens de saga door Leif Eriksson gesticht was, maar anderen betwijfelen dit, en zijn vaak van mening dat Leifs kolonie meer zuidelijk moet hebben gelegen.
In 1978 werd L'Anse aux Meadows door de UNESCO op de werelderfgoedlijst geplaatst. Twee getrouw nagebouwde Viking-gebouwen vormen tegenwoordig een toeristische attractie.
More In englisch
L'Anse aux Meadows (from the French L'Anse-aux-Méduses or "Jellyfish Cove") is an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of the island of Newfoundland, located in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where the remains of a Norse village were discovered in 1960 by the Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad and his archaeologist wife, Anne Stine Ingstad. L'Anse aux Meadows was determined to be Norse due to definitive similarities between the characteristics of structures and artifacts found at the site and those of Greenlandic and Icelandic sites from around A.D. 1000
The name "L'Anse aux Meadows" is believed to have originated with French fishermen in the area during the 1800s and 1900s who named the site "L'Anse aux Meduses," meaning "Jellyfish Bay." The modern name is an English corruption of the French name which occurred because the landscape in the area tends to be open, with meadows.
L'Anse aux Meadows is the only known Norse site in North America outside of Greenland, represents the farthest known extent of European exploration and settlement of the New World before the voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot almost 500 years later, and is the only genuine evidence of pre-Columbian contact between the New and Old Worlds.
L'Anse aux Meadows was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978.
Archaeological excavation at the site was conducted in the 1960s by an international team led by Ingstad and again in the 1970s under the direction of Parks Canada. Following each period of excavation, the site was reburied, in an effort to protect and conserve the cultural resources.
The settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows has been dated to approximately 1000 years ago, an assessment that agrees with the relative dating of artifact and structure types.The remains of eight buildings were located, 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. The largest dwelling measured 28.8 by 15.6 m (94.5 by 51 ft) and consisted of several rooms.Workshops were identified as an iron smithy containing a forge and iron slag, a carpentry workshop which generated wood debris, and a specialized boat repair area containing worn rivets. Besides those related to iron working, carpentry, and boat repair, many artifacts found at the site consisted of common every-day Norse items, such as a whetstone, a bronze fastening pin, a bone knitting needle, and a stone oil lamp. Food remains included butternuts, notable since these do not grow naturally north of New Brunswick, probably indicating that the Norse inhabitants travelled further south. Archaeologists concluded that the site was inhabited by the Norse for a relatively short period of time.
In addition to the European settlement, evidence of at least five or six separate native occupations has been identified at L'Anse aux Meadows, the oldest dated at roughly 6000 years ago, although none was contemporaneous to the Norse occupation. The most prominent of these were the Dorset people who predated the Norse by about 200 years.
Possible connection with Vinland sagas
Norse sagas are written versions of older oral traditions. Two sagas, commonly called the Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of Eric the Red, describe the experiences of Norse Greenlanders who discovered and then attempted to settle a land to the west of Greenland, identified as Vinland. The Sagas seem to suggest that the Vinland settlement failed due to conflicts within the Norse community and between the Norse and the Native people they encountered.
While it is not possible to verify that L'Anse aux Meadows is indeed the Vinland of Saga, this remains a possibility, and it is often referred to as such in discussions of the site. Archaeologists tend to believe that the L'Anse aux Meadows site is not Vinland itself, but an exploration base and winter camp for expeditions heading further south to Vinland, which may have extended to the St. Lawrence River and New Brunswick