How to use this Site

This Website is an on-line library of source documents and a virtual collection of archaeological artifact collections, sites and field records with some explanations on how to use them, and some interpretive material divided into themes. Our goal is to introduce users to methods of conducting archaeological research complemented with other primary sources. Within each thematic section, both the archaeological evidence and pieces of art that inform that evidence are presented via photographs. Text sources are shown transcribed and translated from Old Norse or other Nordic languages, Anglo-Saxon, Latin, or Arabic, but they do represent primary documents; their meanings may be ambiguous and it is up to the reader to determine the meaning in both archaeological and literary sources. You will use these artifact collections and other documents the way an archaeologist uses them to unravel history when textual descriptions are few or missing. A great deal of detective work is required in order to interpret partially forgotten events and situations. The clues are neither direct nor clear and it is up to you how you should interpret them

Surfing the Website

The goal of this site is to expose the students and other users to the processes of archaeological and historical research. The material is organised into nine sections. The title of each section is found on the red bar situated beneath the site’s title. The sections are the following: Home, Viking Life, The Vinland Voyages, L’Anse aux Meadows, Where is Vinland?, Other Mysteries, Echoes, Interpretations, and Archives. Click on the buttons to surf through these sections. If you get lost, look at the bar at the top to see which button has a highlighted background. When you click on a button at the top of the page, three things will happen: the top bar will indicate the new section, the menu to the left of the page will change and the content on this page will also change. The Introduction button will be in bold type in the menu to the left, as will be the other options depending on the section you are in: in other words, the bar under the Home section will have ten options (and the option “How to Use This Site” will be highlighted while it is being used), as well as an option for language selection. If you click on an option from the menu to the left, the content on the page will change, and you will see a list of sources and documents under titles that indicate which sources are available. When you click on one of the sources, it will appear in the middle of the screen. When you have finished reading the information and want to return to the list of source documents, click on the “Back to the Main Page” button at the bottom of the document.

All documents have a link to the “About This Source of Information” option. This option explains why the document was chosen, how to interpret it and how to find additional information on it. It can also be useful in helping you establish the credibility of the information found. To return to the page you were previously on, click on the “Previous” button. To return to a document other than the “Main Page”, click on the “Previous button.

Reference material

The reference indicating the current location of an artifact or field record will be listed at the end of each document. For maps, photographs, and illustrations, reference material can be seen by mousing over on the image.


To help you making informed judgements we have created a Viking Life section to help you understand the background to the Vinland voyages, the type of people the Vikings were and their technological achievements and restrictions. Another section, How Do We Know About the Vikings will help to get you started in looking at archaeological evidence, and an Echo section will explore why people are so fascinated by Vikings. The Interpretation section lists a variety of answers to the question Where is Vinland? and the criteria they are built on. As you can see, the answers are almost as many and diverse as the number of theories proposed. Access to this section requires a password that your teacher may give you once you have reached your own conclusions.

Beyond This Site

Thousands of documents, books, and articles deal with the Vikings and Vinland. To keep the website at a manageable size, we have had to be highly selective. Viking sites and artifacts are also numerous so we can show only a small portion of them. To help you continue your studies on Vikings, we have provided you with further references and the location of the most significant artifact collections.