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Space Archeologists Find Evidence Of New Viking Site In North America

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A team of space archaeologists found evidence of a new Viking Site in North America. If the new evidence is confirmed to be true, the discovery can open coastal Canada and other areas for a new era of research.

Space archeologist Sarah H. Parcak found the site using an infrared satellite imagery that searches for 'hotspots' 383 miles above the Earth. The images were eventually narrowed down to a single new site.

To date, there is only one confirmed Viking site in North America, L'Anse aux Meadows, which is located on the northern slope of the Newfoundland. The potentially new Viking site is located on Point Rosee, the southwest slope of Canada's Newfoundland Island.

"Point Rosee could reinforce that story or completely change it if the dating is different from L'Anse aux Meadows. We could end up with a much longer period of Norse activity in the New World," said Norse settlements archaeologist Douglas Bolender.

A test excavation on the site last summer unearthed a Viking type turf wall. The radiocarbon tests on the turf wall revealed it dates back to the Norse era. The initial search also discovered an iron-working hearth.

They found charcoal traces and 28 pounds of slag in the shallow pint. The evidence suggested the hearth was used to roast ore, which is the first step in the process of making iron.

The initial evidence remains circumstantial as the archeologists still cannot confirm if the hearth was actually built by the Vikings. There were other civilizations that lived on the Newfoundland Island in the past centuries. These populations include Basque fishermen and Native Americans.

Modern Day Treasure Maps

The new method already proved promising. It uses satellite technology to look for soil irregularities. These variations in soil can be due to man-made structures that lie underneath it. Parcak already used this technology to find undiscovered, ancient Egyptian sites.

Several years ago, she unearthed the location of a lighthouse near Rome and other ancient buildings. Last year, she began her Viking search.

The Point Rosee discovery will be featured in "The Vikings Uncovered" on BBC One on April 4.

Photo: Jon Jordan | Flickr

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