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Author Topic: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps  (Read 1047 times)

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Online Ianab

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Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« on: October 21, 2021, 02:04:15 AM »
Vikings were in North America by 1021 CE | Ars Technica

Basically scientists have been able to pinpoint the occupation of a Viking settlement in Newfoundland to 1021. 

Method? It's known that there was a big solar flare in 992-3 AD, it was recorded at the time, and caused a spike in the Carbon 14 in the atmosphere. Any wood that was laid down in a tree in that year is slightly more radioactive than usual. This has been confirmed by looking at samples of old trees, that growth ring has a higher than expected C14 content, compared to the previous and later years. That is also one reason why C14 dating is not 100% accurate, as the C14 in the air varies slightly from year to year, but the spike in 993 is well documented. 

So they examined scraps of wood excavated around the settlement site, picking ones that have been cut with steel tools (so not Natives or natural), and had the cambium / bark layer attached. Then looking back though the growth rings they until the found the 993 growth ring. Counting back gave them the precise year the tree was cut down. All three samples were felled in 1021.  Doesn't say exactly when they arrived or left, just that they were working in that spot over 1021. Conventional carbon dating isn't that accurate, and put the samples between 1019 and 1024. 

So "Things you can learn from a little scrap of wood".  :P
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2021, 04:16:51 AM »
Reminds me of an interview on a Joe Rogan podcast over a year ago with a sort of historian. The guest said, "why do we celebrate Columbus day? He never discovered a *DanG thing". :D :D
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1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2021, 07:47:32 AM »
Everybody should know that Colombus had a Norwegian map, but they still don't really teach that in schools as they should. This is great news and will keep me smiling all day today. 8) 

I had always wanted to ask my relatives about this, but alas, they are all gone now, so things like this will have to do. I am glad carbon dating continues to evolve. This means the the Vikings were in NA 25 years before the Battle of Hastings, roughly 2 generations and at the height of their reach and influence. 1066 is when things started going downhill for them and fall apart, as I recall.

There is a local fella here who has spent the better part of 40 years woalking these hills and among other things, finding every peat bog in the catskills, mapping them, and probing samples from the bottom of each which he has had radio carbon dating done on the plant matter by species. From this he has built a picture of what the forest were comprised of going back many thousand years and how it developed over centuries looking at the different levels. Then he combined that with the other evidence of past burns, species shapes, densities, locations, habitat, elevations, etc. to fill out the picture. This is all organized in a book he wrote in 2001 called The Catskills; A History and is one of my most treasured volumes. In fact I am re-reading it now. The results of his nearly half century of walking these hills has also given him enough knowledge and material to produce several other books tracing the history of the various railroads and industries in our small mountain range. As well he is a fascinating guy (for me) to listen to. I have only met him once and chatted, but won't miss any public appearances again if I can help it.

But I digress, this is great news and I shall think about this all day. I always knew they had a settlement on these shores, what I always wondered about was why they left? Perhaps they knew, even then, that the taxes would get too high in a short time and the governments of the various subdivisions would be run by idiots? :D
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 08:02:42 AM »
Being a sailor, I'm not surprised at all.  There's a pull to keep going, and I think it would be especially strong in aggressive ones, like the Vikings.  They were always looking for better ground, and willing to risk their lives for it.

Funny, just yesterday, a friend sent me this link:

Vinland Map Identified as 20th-Century Forgery | History | Smithsonian Magazine

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 08:22:12 AM »
   I just remember it struck me odd to see all the different hair colors and facial features in Kristiansand Norway when I worked a project there 2007-2009. There were blondes, redheads, black hair, Asian eyes, European skin tones, etc. I assume the mixture was all due to successful Viking raids. :D
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 08:25:50 AM »
what I always wondered about was why they left?
The answer to that question is simple enough......they ran out of toilet tissue.  ;D
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2021, 08:44:57 AM »
It is believed that the Vikings had been in my area around the same time, there have been some artifacts found and markings a stone along the coast. The local high school teams are known as the Vikings.

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 08:56:11 AM »
It was known in Italy about the 'new world' long before 'Columbus' found it. Besides that, pretty sure those that were here already 'found' it.  :D

There's evidence that prior were here now over 24,000 years ago. That even a sea fairing people had found south America 1,000s of years before the vikings 'found' the west

Pretty cool either way

Offline WDH

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2021, 09:44:17 AM »
Yes, humans found the Americas many millennia before even the Vikings. Our history is very Euro-centric, another manifestation of the Myth of Central Position.  
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2021, 10:58:57 AM »
what I always wondered about was why they left?
The answer to that question is simple enough......they ran out of toilet tissue.  ;D
Too funny  :D ;D
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Offline Don P

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2021, 11:06:13 AM »
History had to wait for the Spanish to bring the corncob north.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2021, 11:15:41 AM »
Of course Vikings, being yankees, couldn't abide grits so it took an Italian calling it polenta for it all to work out. Christopher Columbus was actually Italian, so there you go, follow the grits.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline GAB

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2021, 11:25:47 AM »
Dating Viking settlements using wood samples to food in 11 entries.
Is that a record?
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2021, 11:27:03 AM »
@Don P now that is funny! I find this all quite fascinating, my mothers ancestors were from northern Germany near the Danish border my fathers from northern England yet Ancestry.com tells me I am mostly Norwegian with a smattering of Danish and Swedish thrown in so I have to assume I am a descendant of Viking raiders.
I suspect a small group of fishermen could not sustain themselves in such a harsh environment and without fresh young settlers including women to replenish the group they would simply die off. Also by that time the Scandinavians were converting to Christianity and taking up farming, the warrior way of life was disappearing.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2021, 11:34:06 AM »
Mine just got tired of commuting to Scotland every spring and set up housekeeping there. By the time they got here or shortly thereafter they had acquired an appreciation of grits and corncobs. So they stayed.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2021, 11:34:46 AM »
Everyone is trashing on Columbus these days. His discoveries were a huge event and there is no getting around that. The Vikings were here, but for whatever reason disappeared and prompted no further exploration. I'm of part Native ancestry, I probably come from this from a different angle. I get sick of hearing my relatives whining about Columbus and "genocide" he committed, "stealing" Native land blah blah. With current historical interpretation, if another tribe invaded, tortured, mutilated and killed most of the invaded except for women and children they kidnapped, that was merely "inter-tribal warfare". Europeans come in, make a treaty and displace a tribe and are vilified, even if they didn't kill anyone. I realize there was plenty of double dealing, broken promises, and atrocities aplenty but I really tire of the narrative of the peaceful natives who never had any impact on the earth living their idyllic in tune with nature lives until the big wasteful selfish white man came it ruined it. All that to say, I like Christopher Columbus😁
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 11:36:30 AM »
I was going to do one of the Ancestry.com DNA samples or something but I'm afraid I might overload their system. I've been described as having a "highly variable genetic background"😂
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2021, 12:16:50 PM »
That means that you have a lot of Hybrid Vigor which is a highly valuable selective trait!!
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2021, 12:31:57 PM »
  My favorite observation was "When the Europeans came to America they found the Indian tribes where the men hunted and fished all day and the women did all the rest of the work. And they worked hard to change this system - what were they thinking?" :D
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Re: Dating Viking Settlement in Nth America with wood scraps
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2021, 01:40:59 PM »
WV one of my uncles used to have a plaque on his wall to that effect 😂

Danny, I'd read that term "high degree of genetic variability", and I thought, "hey, that's me!" but being a logger and a simple person I never had an opportunity to use my newly learned term. Well, one time my wife and kids and I were at a graduation party. I was visiting with an acquaintance that is college educated. As we conversed, my kids would walk by randomly (we have 5), they all have a very different appearance. From one white blond haired, blue eyed girl to one daughter that has dark skin and very curly hair. This lady finally paused and asked, "was that another one if your kids?" When I told her it was, she said, "you guys must have a high degree of genetic variability!"😂😂 I could've just hugged her😂
Too many irons in the fire


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