Gimme A Dream endorses the Giddy Up Pony Camp
Gimme A Dream is a Magdalen Islands site and a Magdalen Islands site!
Gimme A Dream has the Gimme A Dream's Unique Craft And Jewelry Site

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Where The New World Starts

The name 'L'Anse aux Meadows' or 'Meadow Cove' originally thought to be French for 'L’Anse Aux Méduses' or in English, 'Jellyfish Cove'! But to call it 'Cove of Meadows' is quite apt also since it is flat with a lot of prairie grasses growing.
On the the History of the Populations!
On a summer’s day around the year 1000, a substantial Viking expedition from Greenland landed on the shores of what is now called L’Anse Aux Meadows - a community located at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in Western Newfoundland. Thought to be under the leadership of Leif Eiriksson, the group of between 70-90 people established an encampment that served as a base for exploring south throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Over the next couple of decades, the Vikings would make a number of voyages to this region of the world that is thought to be what they called Vinland, mainly in search of hardwood lumber, which does not grow on Greenland. These trips would result in the first contact between Europeans and North American Aboriginal Peoples.

The sculpture to the left is an interpretive artwork called "Meeting of Two Worlds" and is placed at L'Anse aux Meadows to capture the historical significance of the area. It was developed in two parts; the part on the right was completed in Newfoundland and Labrador by sculpture Luben Boykov, and the part on the left by Richard Brixel of Sweden. Symbolically corresponding to the geographic points of departure and landing of the Vikings, the two pieces come together to form an archway over the walking trail leading to the Viking archaeological site. Where the two elements meet, the artistic styles fuse, representing the first contact between the European and North American Aboriginal cultures.
The Viking Settlement Replicated
The girl on the right, (Amanda) acted a young married viking woman who was brought along to help with the day-to-day chores. The man in the center, Chieftain Bjorn was the principal storyteller. Sit down and listen as he tells of his trade while he makes himself a pair of shoes. Learn the secrets of navigation and shipbuilding from Gunnar and compare his woodworking tools with your own. Watch Thora as she spins some fleece into wool thread and other textile arts, as she reveals her position within the Norse society. Ragnar the blacksmith will talk to you beside his forge and anvil about how to turn soft bog ore into nails for boat repair.

The photo is the remains of the largest Norse Building a L'Anse zux Meadows. This World Heritage Site is the only authenticated Norse settlement in North America.

Most likely, the making of iron was not planned, but became a necessity to replace boat nails that had weakened. Not much iron was smelted at this site - just enough for an emergency supply of nails and rivets to repair their boats. Evidence indicates that the Norse produced about 3 kg of usable iron, enough to make about 100 nails. Without these, it is possible that they would never have been able to return to their homelands of Greenland and Iceland.

To make iron, the Vikings built a sod furnace hut. They collected bog ore from the banks along the brook and roasted it in a charcoal pit kiln. The furnace was heated to temperatures between 1000 and 1200 degree C. These temperatures reduced the bog iron ore into a bloom. The bloom was then removed from the furnace and as many impurities as possible were hammered out. The iron was then ready to be forged into objects.

The interior of a reconstructed Norse dwelling had a fireplace in the middle of the floor and platforms for seating and sleeping.

Some of the objects found at the archaeological site at L'Anse Aux Meadows were a Cloak pin, Spindle Whole, Bone Needle Fragment, Butternut and a Needle hone.

L'Anse aux Meadows was first brought to the attention of the world in 1960 thanks to Dr Helge Ingstad, an historian and explorer, and his wife Anne Ingstad, an archaeologist. The Norwegian couple was determined to prove the North American existence of the legendary site spoken of in the Norse Sagas. Their years of searching came to an end when they met George Decker, a local fisherman. He had noticed unusual grassy mounds in the area, the type the Ingstads were searching for. Twelve years of archaeological research followed, conducted first by the Ingstads, then by Parks Canada. Those grassy mounds turned out to be the remnants of eight, 11th century Norse buildings.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated L'Anse aux Meadows as a national historic site 1977 on the basis that:
- It is the first know Viking site in North America, and provides the earliest evidence of Europeans in the western hemisphere;
- It contains extensive remains of the Viking presence;
- The site's geographical features and strategic location on the Strait of Belle Isle contributed to the Vikings decision to select this site for their base camp.

In 1978, L'Anse aux Meadows was also designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), primarily due to what it tells us about the worldwide movement of peoples. This designation signals the site's importance as an international cultural resource, deserving protection for the benefit of humanity.

During their work here in the 1960s and 70s, archaeologists uncovered remnants of iron production - an important early clue that Vikings had visited the site. L'Anse aux Meadows is thought to be the first place in North America where ore was smelted to produce iron.

No comments: