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Fossil BS: Possible Viking site found, New England (59* d) RE: BS: Possible Viking site found, New England 02 Apr 16


Another coincidence, in that my reading matter this week has included a book I recently picked up in the marina where I keep my boat. The marina has a small book exchange where itinerant mariners can exchange items of interest - anyway, someone had left Tim Severin's "The Brendan Voyage" - mentioned by Raggytash - and I have been reading it with interest.

So according to Severin - who, having actually researched the subject in detail and finally built the boat and made the voyage - not only does it seem highly probable that communities of Irish monks visited the Eastern seaboard of the US, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland, sailing the Atlantic in curraghs made of hide, but that at least one of the things that drove them to make such voyages was fear of the Viking invaders who at the time were devastating the Scottish and Irish monasteries.

The Viking longships were famously fast and seaworthy craft, if devastatingly uncomfortable and they were certainly up to making the journey. The Irish curraghs were less seaworthy, and would have taken much longer. But in medieval times, monks had nothing but time on their hands. It wouldn't be beyond the bounds of possibility, once monks and others had started making the return trip back to Ireland (as Brendan is known to have done) that the knowledge of lands far to the north and west of the island could have spread to the Vikings. I look forward to hearing more of this story.


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