Researchers from the University of Groningen, among others, have found indications that the first known settlement of the Northern European Viking people in the American continent is exactly a thousand years old, they report in

Nature

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The scientists base their conclusions on research into a spike in radioactivity caused by a solar storm in AD 993. They counted the growth rings after that spike in trees cut to build the Viking settlement at the Canadian site of L'Anse. aux Meadows.

This allowed the researchers to determine that the settlement was probably built in the year 1021.

The Viking settlement is the first known evidence of a crossing by Europeans from the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas.

L'Anse aux Meadows is located in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

Excavations have found remains of timber-framed peat peat buildings that are similar to Norman buildings in Europe, Greenland and Iceland.

The Vikings, the seafaring branch of the Normans, were Scandinavian inhabitants of southern Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

The so-called Viking Age roughly spans 793-1066.

This is long before the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) first set foot on the American continent.

See also: Genetic research proves: not all Vikings were blond Scandinavians

Danish amateur archaeologists find gold treasure Vikings

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