Skip to comments.New North America Viking Voyage Discovered
Posted on 06/06/2013 7:08:32 PM PDT by EveningStar
Some 1,000 years ago, the Vikings set off on a voyage to Notre Dame Bay in modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, new evidence suggests.
The journey would have taken the Vikings, also called the Norse, from L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the same island to a densely populated part of Newfoundland and may have led to the first contact between Europeans and the indigenous people of the New World.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Hmm... I wonder if there are any traces of European gene variants in the indigenous population of that area.
As is usually the case there is no evidence that everybody went back home.
The other way around, kinda. DNA from a female Native American entered the Icelandic population about 1000 years ago.
The Delaware Indians are supposed to have had a 'creation of the people' story had some/all of their ancestors making their way to the Americas through passage over a series of islands. Some draw parallels to that story with the reality of Norse settlment over centuries ~ from Europe to America. We had an article some months ago with a claim that some of the old Delaware 'writings' could be translated as Norse ~
Not much doubt Vikings were in pre-Columbian America. But the significant European DNA in Native Americans seems to be from at least 10,000 years ago, as far as I’ve heard.
Baccalieu ~ an island listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_of_Newfoundland_and_Labrador ~ and although that is usually linked to a pan Souvr’n European term referencing cod fish, that’s also one of the names JOHN CABOT used ~ there are at least a dozen or more spellings of his surname ~ some quite different. He was brought up in Nawthan’ Italy but sailed around with whoever would hire him. He’s a contemporary of Christopher Columbus, and his relatives the sea going Breton/Spanish sailers ~ the Carvajal’s. This part of Canada has all the early dates ~ earlier than MEXICO ~ and looking up one of those islands I found there’s a pre-columbian European map referring to this island!
The Viking’s ancestors were still cowering in caves in France eating primitive cheese, surrendering themselves to the Younger Dryas and picking lice when those Europeans, the Sa’ami, made it to America, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and everywhere else!
But what we really want to know is who left the treasure on Oak Island, and how do we get it the heck outta there....
bump for reference.
although that is usually linked to a pan Souvrn European term referencing cod fish, thats also one of the names JOHN CABOT used ...
***Regarding the Basque pre-Columbian explorations of America, the influence of Cod fishing, and John Cabot ...Ive posted this before.
Here is an excerpt from a book called Cod.
A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
Mark Kurlansky - Author
$14.00 add to cart view cart
Book: Paperback | 5.27 x 7.12in | 304 pages | ISBN 9780140275018 | 01 Jul 1998 | Penguin
A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the worlds folly?
1: The Race to Codlandia
He said it must be Friday, the day he could not sell anything except servings of a fish known in Castile as pollock or in Andalusia as salt cod.
Miguel de Cervantes,
Don Quixote, 1605-1616
A medieval fisherman is said to have hauled up a three-foot-long cod, which was common enough at the time. And the fact that the cod could talk was not especially surprising. But what was astonishing was that it spoke an unknown language. It spoke Basque.
This Basque folktale shows not only the Basque attachment to their orphan language, indecipherable to the rest of the world, but also their tie to the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, a fish that has never been found in Basque or even Spanish waters.
The Basques are enigmatic. They have lived in what is now the northwest corner of Spain and a nick of the French southwest for longer than history records, and not only is the origin of their language unknown, but the origin of the people themselves remains a mystery also. According to one theory, these rosy-cheeked, dark-haired, long-nosed people were the original Iberians, driven by invaders to this mountainous corner between the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian Sierra, and the Bay of Biscay. Or they may be indigenous to this area.
Basques have been able to maintain this stubborn independence, despite repression and wars, because they have managed to preserve a strong economy throughout the centuries. Not only are Basques shepherds, but they are also a seafaring people, noted for their successes in commerce. During the Middle Ages, when Europeans ate great quantities of whale meat, the Basques traveled to distant unknown waters and brought back whale. They were able to travel such distances because they had found huge schools of cod and salted their catch, giving them a nutritious food supply that would not spoil on long voyages.
Basques were not the first to cure cod. Centuries earlier, the Vikings had traveled from Norway to Iceland to Greenland to Canada, and it is not a coincidence that this is the exact range of the Atlantic cod.
Eirik colonized this inhospitable land and then tried to push on to new discoveries. But he injured his foot and had to be left behind. His son, Leifur, later known as Leif Eiriksson, sailed on to a place he called Stoneland, which was probably the rocky, barren Labrador coast. I saw not one cartload of earth, though I landed many places, Jacques Cartier would write of this coast six centuries later. From there, Leifs men turned south to Woodland and then Vineland. The identity of these places is not certain. Woodland could have been Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or Maine, all three of which are wooded. But in Vineland they found wild grapes, which no one else has discovered in any of these places.
The remains of a Viking camp have been found in Newfoundland. It is perhaps in that gentler land that the Vikings were greeted by inhabitants they found so violent and hostile that they deemed settlement impossible, a striking assessment to come from a people who had been regularly banished for the habit of murdering people. More than 500 years later the Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland would prevent John Cabot from exploring beyond crossbow range of his ship. The Beothuk apparently did not misjudge Europeans, since soon after Cabot, they were enslaved by the Portuguese, driven inland, hunted by the French and English, and exterminated in a matter of decades.
How did the Vikings survive in greenless Greenland and earthless Stoneland? How did they have enough provisions to push on to Woodland and Vineland, where they dared not go inland to gather food, and yet they still had enough food to get back? What did these Norsemen eat on the five expeditions to America between 985 and 1011 that have been recorded in the Icelandic sagas? They were able to travel to all these distant, barren shores because they had learned to preserve codfish by hanging it in the frosty winter air until it lost four-fifths of its weight and became a durable woodlike plank. They could break off pieces and chew them, eating it like hardtack. Even earlier than Eiriks day, in the ninth century, Norsemen had already established plants for processing dried cod in Iceland and Norway and were trading the surplus in northern Europe.
The Basques, unlike the Vikings, had salt, and because fish that was salted before drying lasted longer, the Basques could travel even farther than the Vikings. They had another advantage: The more durable a product, the easier it is to trade. By the year 1000, the Basques had greatly expanded the cod markets to a truly international trade that reached far from the cods northern habitat.
In the Mediterranean world, where there were not only salt deposits but a strong enough sun to dry sea salt, salting to preserve food was not a new idea. In preclassical times, Egyptians and Romans had salted fish and developed a thriving trade. Salted meats were popular, and Roman Gaul had been famous for salted and smoked hams. Before they turned to cod, the Basques had sometimes salted whale meat; salt whale was found to be good with peas, and the most prized part of the whale, the tongue, was also often salted.
Until the twentieth-century refrigerator, spoiled food had been a chronic curse and severely limited trade in many products, especially fish. When the Basque whalers applied to cod the salting techniques they were using on whale, they discovered a particularly good marriage because the cod is virtually without fat, and so if salted and dried well, would rarely spoil. It would outlast whale, which is red meat, and it would outlast herring, a fatty fish that became a popular salted item of the northern countries in the Middle Ages.
Even dried salted cod will turn if kept long enough in hot humid weather. But for the Middle Ages it was remarkably long-lastinga miracle comparable to the discovery of the fast-freezing process in the twentieth century, which also debuted with cod. Not only did cod last longer than other salted fish, but it tasted better too. Once dried or saltedor bothand then properly restored through soaking, this fish presents a flaky flesh that to many tastes, even in the modern age of refrigeration, is far superior to the bland white meat of fresh cod. For the poor who could rarely afford fresh fish, it was cheap, high-quality nutrition.
Catholicism gave the Basques their great opportunity. The medieval church imposed fast days on which sexual intercourse and the eating of flesh were forbidden, but eating cold foods was permitted. Because fish came from water, it was deemed cold, as were waterfowl and whale, but meat was considered hot food. The Basques were already selling whale meat to Catholics on lean days, which, since Friday was the day of Christs crucifixion, included all Fridays, the forty days of Lent, and various other days of note on the religious calendar. In total, meat was forbidden for almost half the days of the year, and those lean days eventually became salt cod days. Cod became almost a religious icona mythological crusader for Christian observance.
The Basques were getting richer every Friday. But where was all this cod coming from? The Basques, who had never even said where they came from, kept their secret. By the fifteenth century, this was no longer easy to do, because cod had become widely recognized as a highly profitable commodity and commercial interests around Europe were looking for new cod grounds. There were cod off of Iceland and in the North Sea, but the Scandinavians, who had been fishing cod in those waters for thousands of years, had not seen the Basques. The British, who had been fishing for cod well offshore since Roman times, did not run across Basque fishermen even in the fourteenth century, when British fishermen began venturing up to Icelandic waters. The Bretons, who tried to follow the Basques, began talking of a land across the sea.
In the 1480s, a conflict was brewing between Bristol merchants and the Hanseatic League. The league had been formed in thirteenth-century Lubeck to regulate trade and stand up for the interests of the merchant class in northern German towns. Hanse means fellowship in Middle High German. This fellowship organized town by town and spread throughout northern Europe, including London. By controlling the mouths of all the major rivers that ran north from central Europe, from the Rhine to the Vistula, the league was able to control much of European trade and especially Baltic trade. By the fourteenth century, it had chapters as far north as Iceland, as far east as Riga, south to the Ukraine, and west to Venice.
For many years, the league was seen as a positive force in northern Europe. It stood up against the abuses of monarchs, stopped piracy, dredged channels, and built lighthouses. In England, league members were called Easterlings because they came from the east, and their good reputation is reflected in the word sterling, which comes from Easterling and means of assured value.
But the league grew increasingly abusive of its power and ruthless in defense of trade monopolies. In 1381, mobs rose up in England and hunted down Hanseatics, killing anyone who could not say bread and cheese with an English accent.
The Hanseatics monopolized the Baltic herring trade and in the fifteenth century attempted to do the same with dried cod. By then, dried cod had become an important product in Bristol. Bristols well-protected but difficult-to-navigate harbor had greatly expanded as a trade center because of its location between Iceland and the Mediterranean. It had become a leading port for dried cod from Iceland and wine, especially sherry, from Spain. But in 1475, the Hanseatic League cut off Bristol merchants from buying Icelandic cod.
Thomas Croft, a wealthy Bristol customs official, trying to find a new source of cod, went into partnership with John Jay, a Bristol merchant who had what was at the time a Bristol obsession: He believed that somewhere in the Atlantic was an island called Hy-Brasil. In 1480, Jay sent his first ship in search of this island, which he hoped would offer a new fishing base for cod. In 1481, Jay and Croft outfitted two more ships, the Trinity and the George. No record exists of the result of this enterprise. Croft and Jay were as silent as the Basques. They made no announcement of the discovery of Hy-Brasil, and history has written off the voyage as a failure. But they did find enough cod so that in 1490, when the Hanseatic League offered to negotiate to reopen the Iceland trade, Croft and Jay simply werent interested anymore.
Where was their cod coming from? It arrived in Bristol dried, and drying cannot be done on a ship deck. Since their ships sailed out of the Bristol Channel and traveled far west of Ireland and there was no land for drying fish west of IrelandJay had still not found Hy-Brasilit was suppposed that Croft and Jay were buying the fish somewhere. Since it was illegal for a customs official to engage in foreign trade, Croft was prosecuted. Claiming that he had gotten the cod far out in the Atlantic, he was acquitted without any secrets being revealed.
To the glee of the British press, a letter has recently been discovered. The letter had been sent to Christopher Columbus, a decade after the Croft affair in Bristol, while Columbus was taking bows for his discovery of America. The letter, from Bristol merchants, alleged that he knew perfectly well that they had been to America already. It is not known if Columbus ever replied. He didnt need to. Fishermen were keeping their secrets, while explorers were telling the world. Columbus had claimed the entire new world for Spain.
Then, in 1497, five years after Columbus first stumbled across the Caribbean while searching for a westward route to the spice-producing lands of Asia, Giovanni Caboto sailed from Bristol, not in search of the Bristol secret but in the hopes of finding the route to Asia that Columbus had missed. Caboto was a Genovese who is remembered by the English name John Cabot, because he undertook this voyage for Henry VII of England. The English, being in the North, were far from the spice route and so paid exceptionally high prices for spices. Cabot reasoned correctly that the British Crown and the Bristol merchants would be willing to finance a search for a northern spice route. In June, after only thirty-five days at sea, Cabot found land, though it wasnt Asia. It was a vast, rocky coastline that was ideal for salting and drying fish, by a sea that was teeming with cod. Cabot reported on the cod as evidence of the wealth of this new land, New Found Land, which he claimed for England. Thirty-seven years later, Jacques Cartier arrived, was credited with discovering the mouth of the St. Lawrence, planted a cross on the Gaspe Peninsula, and claimed it all for France. He also noted the presence of 1,000 Basque fishing vessels. But the Basques, wanting to keep a good secret, had never claimed it for anyone.
The codfish lays a thousand eggs
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what shes done.
And so we scorn the codfish
While the humble hen we prize
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.
anonymous American rhyme
Those guys eat breeding age cod ~ PREFERENTIALLY ~ and out to the limits they could travel there were no codfish ~ just like now. We suppressed Canadian harp seal harvesting and the cod disappeared. The Canadians said BS, began harvesting harp seals, and now the cod are returning!
So, where did the Basque fishermen find their cod fish? I think the answer is they sailed all the way to the Eastern margins of the seal populations and found their codfish almost within sight of land. Any Basque fishermen who ventured closer would have eventually seen land, tried to visit, and been slaughtered by the quite large Indian populations in the region in those days.
During the drought period from the mid 1500s to the early 1600s, the Indian populations crashed along the East Coast, the harp seals were exterminated, and fish drying and salting stations could be built all up and down the East Coast. I think there were several hundred of them around New Jersey. Thelayouts of the hearts of the oldest towns there suggest a strong Spanish presence! That could be Belgian or Basque.
Maryland presents another mystery. The authorities at Jamestown noted in 1621 that there was a large population of Europeans out on what we now call The Eastern Shore ~ about 20,000 people was their estimate. This had nothing to do with English Virginia Company settlement operations.
Compounding the problem of differentiating one old settlement from another were early, post Columbus, Scandinavian and Breton involvement in Spanish ventures.
If the Vikings play the Redskins in 2013, just think of the marketing opportunity for the NFL!
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks EveningStar. Seems like a good topic for the weeking Digest ping.
Oak Island, one of the greatest treasure hunts ever.
Mark Kurlansky wrote “Salt” too, but I haven’t yet had a chance to look at it. Any comments?
I haven’t read it, but I like his writing style, for the most part.
The Vikings were not only fearless warriors, but fearless navigators as well. Their influence spread through Europe, nearly conquered England and stretched through Russia down to Constantinople where a detachment of Nordics was the palace “Varangian Guard” of the Byzantine Emperor. An Italian classics professor, Dr. Felice Vinci, has written a well researched book finding evidence that the Baltic Vikings were also the players in the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, later driven to the Mediterranean by global changes in weather patterns, where they became first adversaries and then allies of ancient Egypt as the enigmatic “People of the Sea” and subsequently colonized the Aegean Sea to become the forebears of Helenic civilization. His book “The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales” is a game changer and well worth the effort.
I know a guy who maintains that there is evidence that when Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay, there were inhabitants who had blond hair and blue eyes and said they were descendants of people from Nor-yah. (Norse for Norge, “Norway”). He did a high school paper on it. I cannot adduce any other evidence, but it is provocative.
Vikings.... subsequently colonized the Aegean Sea to become the forebears of Helenic civilization
***Utterly doubtful. Hellenic civilization precedes the vikings by about a thousand years.
Maine Coon Cats are supposedly (partly) Scandinavian in origin.
There’s a whole bunch of “the Odyssey was really over here” claims by various authors, it’s analogous to claiming Atlantis was here there and everywhere.
Fun stuff, but I have never heard of the Vikings being the forebears of Hellenic civilization:
Vikings.... subsequently colonized the Aegean Sea to become the forebears of Helenic civilization
“L’Anse aux Meadows was founded nearly 1000 years ago and was the only Norse settlement in the New World. “
That we KNOW of.
The Vinland Saga tells of grape vines found on one of their trips. And grape vines don;t grow in Newfoundland - only much further south.
They were in wildly profuse abundance on the Outer Banks of NC in early explorer accounts, giant vines that seemed to have been cultivated reaching down to the surf itself. One of them is still alive, the Mother Vine.
It’s such a storm-tossed place that finding artifacts from that long ago would be almost a fluke, though. New inlets get cut, old ones fill in. Always moving, those islands.
I love them, but they’re basically just very large sandbars, stable only where large stands of live oak and juniper are. Cut them down and it’s like a windy desert, entire houses buried under the dunes. Happened on Ocracoke in the late 19th century, possibly other islands in the chain.
One (at least) native American woman was taken to Iceland according to DNA studies.
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