The Vikings have landed in the Americas - again

2016-06-02 22:30
A replica of a Viking longship. (iStock)

A replica of a Viking longship. (iStock)

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Oslo - A thousand years after Viking explorer Leif Erikson set foot on the American continent, centuries before Christopher Columbus, a modern reconstruction of a longship has reached the Canadian coast after a five-week voyage.

Created according to archaeological remains and ancient texts, the Draken Harald Harfagre (Dragon Harald Fairhair), complete with carved wooden dragon head prow and impressive red sail, has docked in Newfoundland.

The 35m long, eight-metre wide vessel, the largest Viking ship built in modern times, set sail from Haugesund in southwest Norway on April 26, with a crew of 33 aboard along with some rather un-Viking modern navigational equipment.

Along the way it made an unscheduled stop in Scotland's Shetland Islands as well as well as docking in the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland.

It docked in the port of St Antony, Newfoundland and from there will sail on to Quebec city before visiting several US ports.

"It has not been easy, we have faced a lot of problems along this voyage but the crew have been in good spirits and worked hard all the way," the ship's Swedish captain Bjorn Ahlander said on the expedition's website.

According to many historians, Icelandic seafarer Leif Erikson, son of Norwegian explorer Erik the Red, reached the American continent in the year 1000, almost five centuries before Italy's Christopher Columbus initiated the European colonisation of the "New World".

In 1960, vestiges of a Viking presence were found in Canada at L'Anse aux Meadows, the northernmost tip of the island of Newfoundland.

The archaeological remains dated from 900-1050 AD.


Read more on:    norway  |  archaeology

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