Discovery of the New World Essay

Submitted By laotzi
Words: 541
Pages: 3

Who The Heck Did 'Discover' the New World?

Charles Baxter once said, “When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.” Should that be the case, there is nothing wrong with any of the theories of the discovery of the new world. Among myriads of missing information, speculations, criticisms, and emerging evidence, one theory stands out among the rest: the New World was once known as Vinland. However, there is a distinction between the discovery of the New World in terms of the Western Hemisphere, and the discovery of the area of land which we know today as America. For the purposes of this piece, discovery shall refer to the cardinal encounter of the Western Hemisphere. The theory first took shape in the early 1960s after astonishing archaeological discoveries in Newfoundland provided clear evidence that Norsemen had reached the Western Hemisphere approximately five hundred years prior to Christopher Columbus. Helge Ingstad, a Norwegian archaeologist, uncovered remains of a large hall, among other artifacts, that correlated with Icelandic accounts of a settlement from about the year 1000. The only known North Amercian Norse settlement is found at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Icelandic accounts also tell of one Leif Ericsson who followed a Greenland-to-Canada route previously travelled by Bjarni Herjolfsson. However, whereas Bjarni did not voyage ashore, Leif Ericsson did so fourteen years after Bjarni established the sailing route, exploring the newly established “Vinland the Good”. The explorations ranged from attempting to establish a permanent colony to intramural quarrels to violent confrontations with the Native inhabitants. These endeavors spanned roughly the next ten to twenty years. In addition to the results of these digs, further evidence strengthened the case when a Norse map reportedly showing New World mainland surfaced, drawn up to fifty years before Columbus. Yale announced its discovery of this map on Columbus Day, 1965. This map portrays Greenland in addition to the North American mainland. Physical evidence again supported this theory after Viking “rune” inscriptions were brought to light in Minnesota and Oklahoma. There are enough references in the runes that correlate to the Norse tales to convince…