Nature: America was discovered not by Columbus, but by the Vikings who visited continent almost 500 years earlier

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Nature: America was discovered not by Columbus, but by the Vikings who visited continent almost 500 years earlier
Nature: America was discovered not by Columbus, but by the Vikings who visited continent almost 500 years earlier
21 October 2021, 13:48SciencePhoto: History of Yesterday
Columbus was not the first European to reach America. The Vikings got there much earlier. Scientists discovered traces of their activity in North and South America exactly 1000 years ago - in 1021. Solar activity helped to determine the date.

On their ships, the Vikings traveled great distances by sea. They established settlements in Iceland, Greenland and the island of Newfoundland, which is now Canadian. But when exactly they first melted across the Atlantic is not yet clear. Nevertheless, scientists from the University of Groningen have proved that in 1021 AD - exactly 1000 years ago - the Vikings were definitely in the Americas. This is the earliest known date associated with the crossing of the Atlantic, according to phys.org , citing a study published in the journal Nature.

This conclusion led the researchers to study the fragments of trees felled by the Vikings in L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Three pieces of wood have been dated to AD 1021. Each of them has traces of metal blades - a material unknown to the native population of America.

The researchers were able to determine the year so accurately due to the fact that in 992 AD there was a powerful solar storm, and a distinct radiocarbon signal remained in the tree rings. On each of the three tree samples, this signal was present for 29 growth rings, that is, years, up to the edge of the bark. This allowed scientists to conclude that the felling took place in 1021 AD.

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