History of Canada

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900 Jan 1

Norse colonization of North America

L'Anse aux Meadows National Hi

The Norse exploration of North America began in the late 10th century, when Norsemen explored areas of the North Atlantic colonizing Greenland and creating a short term settlement near the northern tip of Newfoundland. This is known now as L'Anse aux Meadows where the remains of buildings were found in 1960 dating to approximately 1,000 years ago. This discovery helped reignite archaeological exploration for the Norse in the North Atlantic. This single settlement, located on the island of Newfoundland and not on the North American mainland, was abruptly abandoned.

The Norse settlements on Greenland lasted for almost 500 years. L'Anse aux Meadows, the only confirmed Norse site in present-day Canada, was small and did not last as long. Other such Norse voyages are likely to have occurred for some time, but there is no evidence of any Norse settlement on mainland North America lasting beyond the 11th century.