Faced with crowded and harsh conditions in their Greenland home, a
group of Vikings took the reins of Fate into their own hands. With
incredible luck, skill and fortitude, they discovered lands filled with a
profusion of wood wild game and fertile land. In the sagas that grew from
the discovery, the lands were given names that resonated with hope and
promise. Almost 1000 years later, a husband and wife team united their
considerable talents. Intrigued by allusions in the ancient sagas to fabled
Vinland, they considered the scholarship on Viking culture and
technology; they studied maps and they researched intensely the
prominent theories on Vinland's location. Finally, their efforts bore fruit
when a remote Newfoundland peninsula yielded up a soapstone
spindle-whorl, a Viking ring pin and what had to be the overgrown
remnants of over a dozen Viking buildings. Centuries of historical thought
were overturned as it became obvious that Columbus' discovery of
America had been scooped-over four centuries before he was born.
The Viking Discovery of America unites both of these stories. Entwining
fascinating details about shipbuilding, navigation, culture and lifestyle
together with an in-depth account of the detective process.
Helge Ingstad and his wife Anne Stine Ingstad, archaeologists
extraordinaire, shared a special interest in Viking research. From 1961 to
1968 they conducted a series of intensive archaeological expeditions to
L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, solving the mystery of the first
European settlement in North America.