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The Vikings used their longships to cross the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Canada as early as 1021, according to a new study providing the first exact date of Europeans in the Americas.
The study examined wooden artifacts from a previously undated Viking settlement in Newfoundland, which provide the earliest known record of humans crossing the Atlantic to reach the Americas.
The site, known as L’Anse aux Meadows, is located on Newfoundland’s northern peninsula.
Researchers landed on a definitive date thanks to two unlikely sources: chopped wood and a solar storm that occurred more than a thousand years ago.
When the Vikings reached L’Anse aux Meadows, they chopped down trees using metal blades, which weren’t produced by the Indigenous population living in the area at the time. The wooden pieces, left behind at the settlement, came from three different trees.