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Mis-identification of Vinland Settlers
With that they were the first to prove conclusively that the Icelandic/Norwegian Vikings had found a way across the Atlantic Ocean to North America
No, this is very much NOT the case. In all his reports on the settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, and in all his astute discussions of the relevant sagas that led him to make the discovery, Ingstad was at pains to point out that the Norse who settled in Iceland quickly came to regard themselves as a distinct people: "Icelanders". And that those Icelanders under Erik the Red who settled in Greenland likewise quickly became "Greenlanders." In each case, the newer separate identity had disparaging things to say about the older one. So the Newfoundland settlement was established by Greenlanders, not "Norse".
A second point is that Erik and Leif were never "Vikings", either. The word is very frequently misused by people who have been taken in by popular fiction and Hollywood. "Viking" is a job description of various Norse, Swedes, and Danes -- but not Icelanders or Greenlanders, who had their hands full with simply surviving and did not go raiding on other shores. Young men (often younger sons of regional leaders) or older landless men often "went viking" either for a few years to build up their capital, or permanently because they had no other way to make a living, but it never constituted an ethnic identity. --Michael K. Smith 16:27, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
There is a New York Times article from November 1963, published the day after Ingstad and Stine publicly reported their discovery. The article says that digging at the L'Anse site began in 1960. I suppose the appropriate date depends on one's definition of "discovery." The ruins were discovered in 1960. Solid evidence that it was a Norse Greenlander settlement may have been determined in subsequent years. Jrgilb (talk) 16:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)