Cape Cod House Sites in "Freydis"

[…] I aimed for the only spot where logic said the Helgi-Finnbogi house site could have been. Pushing laboriously through the woods, we found a rectangular hollow in that precise spot. […]

The hollow is a perfect rectangle, and is slightly more than 43 feet in length and over 18 feet in width. […] It is just the right size for the number of persons in the Helgi-Finnbogi company to have slept on platforms 6 feet deep along the sides with a corridor 6 1/2 feet wide between the platforms. The platforms, probably about 18 inches above the floor, served as seats in the daytime. They could have had stone or wood foundations with poles across, covered with mats of plaited salt grass on which were laid animal skins. Space beneath the platforms was undoubtedly used for storage.

[…] when I had made a new study of the pertinent passage in the Flateyjarbók text, that the strange repetition in it acquired significance: "built their shed and then constructed a shed." […] The word "shed" (skala meaning shed or hut) is the same in both instances. […] Why did the Helgi-Finnbogi party build two sheds? For the same reason that Leif Erikson's party built two: first a building for themselves to live in, and then a shed over their ship to protect it from water and snow and ice. […] I was so firmly convinced of this that I said I would have full faith in the house site only if a ship-shed site existed near it.

[…] The boat-shed site was an excavation into the bank. It was close to 20 feet wide, and with visible remains of at least 53% feet in length. Its longitudinal axis, like that of the house site, was east-west. The house site was parallel with the edge of the bank, but the boat-shed site was located where the bank curved around so that its length was at right angles to the edge. At the inner or west end of the boat-shed site there is an excavated area extending southward. This could have been a storeroom for gear removed from the ship.

Source: Frederick J. Pohl, "[Cape Cod House Sites in] Freydis" in Atlantic Crossings Before Columbus, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1961), 158-168.

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