The Vikings and America
Thames & Hudson, 2000 - 192 pages
For more than a century laymen and scholars have argued over the question of Vinland, that mysterious 'land of grapevines' which, according to medieval Icelandic sagas, the Viking Leif Eriksson discovered almost a thousand years ago. Was Vinland real? Do the clues suggesting a North American location point to a specific place? And why did the Vikings eventually leave the New World? Drawing on fifty years of study and a deep knowledge of the historical and archaeological evidence, Professor Wahlgren addresses these questions in a brilliant and marvellously readable account. Excavations at L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland show that the Vikings were present around ad 1000. But was this Vinland? Professor Wahlgren argues for a location farther south and also suggests Viking exploration far to the north. He also reveals that eventually a worsening climate and attacks by native peoples ended the first European presence in the New World. 'The Vikings and America' is a historical detective story of the finest order, essential for anyone interested in the Vikings and their exploits.