Tanfield Valley

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Tanfield Valley is an archaeological site located on Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It is likely that the site was known to Pre-Columbian Norse explorers from Greenland and Iceland and may be the location of Helluland, spoken of in the Icelandic sagas (the Grœnlendinga saga and the Saga of Erik the Red, Eiríks saga rauða).[1]

Excavations in 2012 led by Patricia Sutherland, adjunct professor of archaeology at Memorial University in Newfoundland found evidence of medieval Norse textiles, masonry, and metallurgy. Pelts from Old World rats have also been discovered.[2] However, the Canadian government fired Sutherland in 2012 after allegations of bullying and harassment against her; as of 2014, she has not been able to continue her research.[3] The CBC show The Fifth Estate featured the story in a January 2014 documentary titled The Silence of the Labs.[4]


  1. ^ Pringle, Heather (November 2012). "Vikings and Native Americans". National Geographic 221 (11). Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  2. ^ Pringle, Heather (19 Oct 2012). "Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada". National Geographic News. National Geographic Society. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  3. ^ Fired Arctic archeologist Patricia Sutherland seeks access to research.
  4. ^ Silence of the Labs. 2014-01-10.