Time to remove the statues of Christopher Columbus and replace them with ones of Cnut the Great. (And yes, the Viking ruler’s name was Cnut.) It turns out, Columbus’s famed “discovery” of the New World wasn’t that impressive.
According to NBC News, tree ring analysis and carbon dating of wood on a suspected Viking settlement site in Newfoundland, Canada shows wood cut for the structures was hewn by metal tools like those used by Vikings led by Cnut the Great in 1021 A.D, one millennium ago.
Up to 100 people lived in the village constructed near at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, which survived between three and thirteen years before the settlers returned to Greenland. They used their unique tools–metal tools were used by the indigenous peoples of North America at the time–to construct building and repair their ships with the ample wood supply from the Canadian forests.
“This is the first time the date has been scientifically established,” said archaeologist Margot Kuitems, a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the study’s lead author. “Previously the date was based only on sagas — oral histories that were only written down in the 13th century, at least 200 years after the events they described took place.”
The L’Anse aux Meadows site is listed as a World Heritage site and is also protected by the Canadian government.