Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 15 (1999-2000). Copyright © Karri L. Springer; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


Many people do not fully understand the stories, history, archaeology or evidence for Viking presence in North America. This paper evaluates the stories against the scientific evidence found to date. Archaeologists, although qualified to discuss all sides of the arguments, rarely do, because of the lack of career rewards for doing so. However, the problems associated with hoaxes should be important to all archaeologists interested in maintaining credibility with the public. Viking legends are well suited for such evaluation. The Kensington runestone hoax is emphasized in this evaluation while other Viking hoaxes are overviewed. Relevant evidence from archaeological sites in the United States and Canada is presented. The L'Anse Aux Meadows site is highlighted for unraveling many of the mysteries surrounding the North American legends of the Vikings.

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