L'Anse aux Meadows World Heritage Site

by Lynn & John Salmon <>{

L'Anse aux Meadows was one of the first 12 sites designated as a World Heritage Site in 1978. The site has the first historic traces of a European presence in the Americas. A Norwegian team in 1960, led by Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad discovered the site while searching for the Norse saga's Vinland.

According to the Sagas, in 985-6 Bjarni Herjolfsson was blown off course from his trip to Greenland and spotted Newfoundland. In 995-996, Lief Eriksson went looking for this land and described Vinland. Thorfinn Karlsefin and Thovald Eriksson led an expedition to find Vinland and established a village for 3 years in what is now L'Anse Aux Meadows. While there the first child born to Europeans on the North American continent was born: Snorri Thorbrandsson.

The site today is part museum and part amusement park with Viking re-enactors and reproduction artifacts. The visitor center has authentic artifacts plus interactive exhibits where you can dig deeper into the archaeological story.

Our arrival timing was a bit unfortunate, as there were 3 or 4 big groups descending on the place from a cruise ship in the harbor. They only stayed for about an hour, while we remained for nearly 4 hours, so the place quieted down and we enjoyed it for the rest of the day.

While exploring the replica village, John figured out how to work the lathe which attracted other visitors who assumed he was one of the Parks Canada Re-enactors. He did a passable job explaining how it worked, and then we continued on our tour and explored the Birchy Nuddick walk along the coast. A woman picking wild strawberries shared some with us. We also found some ripe bakeapple berries on our own.

Here's an interesting scientific paper Botanical-chemical Analysis of Peat Monoliths from the Archaeological Site at L'Anse aux Meadows

Photos from L'Anse aux Meadows (August, 2018)

Return to our Around Newfoundland: Puffins, but no Labrador Ducks adventure.

Lynn & John Salmon <>{