Using satellite imagery captured from 600 kilometers above the Earth, archaeologists have spotted what could be the second settlement of Vikings in Newfoundland. The finding suggests that Vikings might have traveled hundreds of miles further down south into North America than previously thought. Evidence of the second Viking site was found at Point Rosee on the southwest coast of Newfoundland.
First Viking site in Newfoundland was found in 1960
The first Viking site, L’Anse aux Meadows, was discovered way back in 1960 on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland. It is the only authenticated Viking site in North America. Since then, most attempts to find other Norse settlements have been fruitless, with some archaeologists concluding that there might not be any other site to be found. Vikings reached the tip of North America more than 1,000 years ago. But it is still unclear how much of the continent they had explored.
The latest discovery is the subject of a 2-hour long documentary that will air on PBS next week. Vikings had reached North America long before any other Europeans. Sarah Parcak of the University of Alabama and her colleagues used satellite imagery to spot irregularities in the soil that might have been caused by man-made structures lying beneath. She has used the same technique to uncover more than a dozen pyramids, hundreds of tombs, and other settlements across Egypt and Europe.
Further analysis needed
The new site is about 350 miles south of the L’Anse aux Meadows. Scientists found Viking-like walls, fire-cracked stone, and bog iron. Parcak said it could either be an entirely new culture that looks exactly like the Vikings, or it is the westernmost Norse site ever to be discovered. They are still working to find definitive evidence. Outside experts said further excavations and analysis were required to support the findings.
Archaeologists have said that Vikings might have used the L’Anse aux Meadows site as their “base camp for expeditions further south.” Besides satellite imagery, Parcak also used an infrared scanner to look for hints of buried buildings and underground chambers.