Other Mysteries

There are many mysteries linked to Vinland. One of the big ones is whether climate change may allow for a more northerly range of grapes and a more northerly “Vinland”. Another mystery relates to a series of maps and a runestone that purportedly relate to the Norse settlements in North America but may in fact have other explanations.

Three maps seem to pinpoint the location of Vinland. However, none of them was made according to modern surveying standards, and the land forms are not exact. Another problem is their authenticity. Two of the maps were created around 1600. Their producers claimed that they were based on older sources, but modern scholars suggest that their sources were simply the Vinland sagas. Would you come up with maps such as these if you tried to make a map based on the sagas’ descriptions? A third map, the Vinland map, is considered a forgery by some. According to them, the ink contains a modern element, anatase, and that text on the map is not medieval. Others maintain that anatase was used in medieval ink and that radiocarbon dating confirms its medieval age.

Another mystery is runestone which bears the date 1362 and mentions Vinland was found at Kensington, Minnesota. Were the Norse really in Minnesota in the 14th century?

Climate research is a relatively new science, but with modern research it is now possible to establish swings in temperatures over the past 200,000 years. The data are complex, and interpretations can vary. The Vinland mystery must take the climate into account. Was it the same as now in the eleventh century and how would changes have affected the landscapes visited by the Norse?