Vinland: Where is Vinland?

Vinland landscape

Vinland the Good, the land of grapes and warm winters, was discovered by the Vikings in A.D. 1000 A.D., according to the sagas. Here the Vikings explored the land, built houses, and traded and battled with strange people they called skaelings. Where exactly was the Vinland of the sagas? For many years, two Icelandic sagas and scant historic documents provided the only evidence for the Viking voyages to the shores of North America 500 years before Columbus. Debate over the location - or even the existence - of these lands has continued ever since the sagas were first translated from Icelandic into modern European languages more than two hundred years ago. Everyone agrees Vinland is south of two other lands in North American explored by the Vikings, Helluland (Baffin Island) and Markland (Labrador), but how much further south? The discovery in 1960 of a small Viking settlement on the northern tip of Newfoundland Island has now provided archeological proof to the Viking discovery of North America and has provided a focal point for discussions of the location of Vinland the Good. The sum of archeological, saga, environmental, and historic evidence suggests Vinland is a region around the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but its southern boundary is still poorly understood.

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