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Did Vikings Trade with Native Americans?

Archaeologist Patricia Sutherland produces more Viking artifacts from Baffin Island. These new relics promote an intriguing theory, involving the relationships between the indigenous American people and the European Vikings.


Some may criticize Sutherlamd’s accountability and cite her for historical inaccuracies, but the archeologist has been collecting provocative evidence that promotes interesting theories on the presence of Vikings in North America, as well as their connections with the Baffin people.

During an excavation of ruins from an ancient Viking structure, on Baffin island.Sutherland and her team came across several worn and well used whetstones as well as a hodge-podge of Northern European style equipment.

The whetstones contained deeply worn grooves, made by rubbing the surface of a blade against the stone. This tool was used for sharpening tools and other implements, like knives, swords and axes. After closely examining the grooved whetstone, with energy dispersive spectroscopy, it was noted that the worn spots left traces of bronze and brass alloys. At the time these metals and alloys were unused and not forged by the native people.

After Sutherland displayed her results to the archaeological community, many of her adversaries began to sway their negative opinion of the archaeologist credibility and her theories involving Vikings in North America. James Tuck, a professor emeritus of archaeology at Memorial University, stated:

While her evidence was compelling before, i find it convincing now.”

While Sutherland and her team excavated the Baffin site of Tanfield Valley, the location where the whetstones were discovered, had also uncovered shovels made from whale bone,stones cut by Viking masons, yarn and rat pelts, from species of rats their native to Northern regions of Europe.

Patricia Sutherland was not always a fanatic “Vikingophile”, her thirst for the knowledge of everything Viking, began after a breakthrough she had made while inspecting samples of ancient yarn. The yarn , that was stored in the Canadian Museum of Civilisation,was believed to have been created by the native people of Baffin island. After she had compared it to other samples of yarn found in the Baffin region she noticed no similarities, but after comparing the sample of cordage to ones woven in Europe, she immediately noticed the resemblance. Proving that the yarn that the museum consider to be created by its native population was actually created by Vikings either on Baffin or transported to the island.

The archaeologists believes that this is conclusive evidence to verify the presence of Vikings in North America. As to why the Vikings were there, Sutherland, theorizes that they had come to North America to hunt walrus for ivory, other animals for pelts and that the Viking either gathered these resources themselves or bartered for them between the natives.

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