First american explorers

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October 3, 2009

First American Explorers

Who were The Vikings

The Vikings, is term used to named the Norsemen (people from Scandinavia), that settled and colonized in the northern regions; they were sailors, pirates, explores, warriors, and merchants. They colonized through slavery and settled in almost uninhabited regions; they established in some areas of England and Ireland, and moreto the north, in the Faroe Islands and Iceland. One famous Viking was named Leif Eriksson, he was the first one that lands in American continent in the year 1000 C.E. He was born in Iceland, his father Erik the Red, was the first settler of Greenland.

In 982 Erik the Red was exiled, responsible for some killings; he sailed to explore the northern territories. He found that they look most likeIceland, and after three years he returned and told others about his trip, with the idea to establish a settlement, he named this land Greenland to attract people’s interest for it. Even is he was not the first who sight this land he was the first in succeed to set residence in the island; in 985 he sailed with a lot of people and founded the first two colonies in the southwestern side ofGreenland.

The voyage to Vinland

The first Viking who sight America was belief to be Bjarni Herjolfsson. As he got lost in course sailing to Greenland, he saw a forest land at the distance but don’t reach it, turning back to his destiny. Leif Erickson interested in the idea of those lands, bought Bjarni ship and sailed to find it, hi first see Baffin Island and called it Helluland that means land ofthe flat stones; then he saw a coast with forests and he called Markland, it is supposed to be Labrador coast, in Canada; finally he land in Newfoundland, where he establish a settlement and called this region Vinland, because there was grapes and pastures, today this place is know as L’ans aux Meadows.

After going back to Greenland, Leif’s brother Thorvald return to the same camp, andcontinue in exploring the land, his men found natives Indians that they named skraelings, after killed them, more natives returns for revenge and fierily attacked the Vikings, Thorvald dies by a figth wound in Vinland and his people return to Greenland.

In aims to exploit natural resources that were lack of in Greenland, a second trial to establishment in Vinland was performed by Thorfinn Karlsefniand his wife Gudrid. She first married Thorstein Erikson (Leif’s young brother) but he dies after an unsuccessful attempt to reach Vineland. She gave birth a son Snorri who was they first European born in America. Thorfind establish bartering with the natives, but hostilities between both cultures keep growing, so they were in constant attack, and after three years the Norsemen abandon the landpermanently.

Viking sailing routes

Discovering of the first Colony

Five decades after the first Columbus voyage that led him to America, Vikings landed in the new continent. First references of a discovery of new lands across the Atlantic sea are found in the Iceland sagas, ancient stories of Norsemen that explored and colonized the northern territories islands. In the Greenland Saga and theSaga of Erik the Red, there is described how first explorers establish a settlement in these new world they called Vinland, and the first meeting with the natives inhabitants of these lands.

But in was not until 1960 that a Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad, and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine Ingstad, came upon the site in Canada at the place named L'Anse aux Meadows. After searching forthe place of the Norse landing in the coast of New England he found group of overgrown bumps and ridges that might be building remains. The excavation in the site showed what was the ruins of and old Norse colony.

Re-builted site in L’Ans aux Meadows

Vikings Heritage

Vikings are refered in the literacy as explorers, and as sea men they were pushed to explore unknown regions. But with the...
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