Vikings in Ancient America


The Vinland' Settlement . The Vinland Map . Viking Runes in America  .  Kensington Rune Stone . Paul Knutson Expedition . Oklahoma Rune stones . Spirit Pond Rune Stones . Norumbega  Legend


Mediterranean Influences in Ancient America

Africans in Ancient America


The word Viking is derived from Old Norse vik , meaning creek or inlet, and vikingr were those who lived and lurked in bays or fjords.  They were also known as Varangians, vikvejar, Norsemen, westfaldingi, wiccan, gall, lochlannach, and ashmen.  They are believed to have made incursions into America as early as 750 AD, and to have traveled as far west as Oklahoma !

The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America

The The Greenlanders saga , a collection of 12th and 13th century Norse tales, relates that a 10th Century Norseman Bjarni Herjolfsson, was blown off course and sighted a land mass west of Greenland, but didn't go ashore.

More than a decade later, using the same ship that Bjarni had used ,Leif Eriksson explored North America . The Norse called parts of it Helluland (Stoneland), Markland (Woodland) and Vinland (Wineland or Vineland]).





The Vinland' Settlement


Vinland the Good: The Saga of Leif Eiriksson and the Viking Discovery of America

The Viking Discovery of America: The Excavation of a Norse Settlement in L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Discovering Vikings at L'anse aux Meadows


Vineland or Vinland referred to Newfoundland.  It is believed Leif Eriksson founded the Viking settlement found at L'Anse aux Meadows [Jellyfish Cove] in Newfoundland, which was known in legend as  the 'Vinland' settlement.

L'Anse aux Meadows is the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America excluding Greenland, a major archaeological dig found dwellings, and artifacts that dated it to more than five hundred years before Columbus.

The "Skalholt" map [Image] shows the Vinland' settlement at the northern tip of  Newfoundland, where L'Anse aux Meadows was later discovered . The settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows consisted of at least eight buildings, including a forge and smelter, a lumber yard , and a shipyard.

The Vinland Map

A 15th century map depicts Viking explorations of North America. Known as the Vinland Map [Image], it has been the subject of much debate. A problem with the map is that it did not surface until 1965 in a publication The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation.




Rediscovering Vinland: Evidence of Ancient Viking Presence in America

“Vinland Map” parchment predates Columbus’s arrival in North America

The map , believed to have been copied in the 15th century from an earlier map ,was discovered bound together with a codex named the ‘Historia Tartorum’, or the ‘Tatar Relation’.

In 1972, a scientific team reported that its ink contained anatase, which first appeared in ink during the 1920s. In 1992, Dr. Thomas Cahill of UC Davis found anatase in a variety of medieval manuscripts and the Vinland Map debate was reopened.




Viking Runes in America

The Runes are characters of related ancient Northern European alphabets . They were used primarily in Scandinavia, and the British Isles. The Scandinavian version is known as Futhark .  The presence of runes in the Americas would indicate an ancient Northern European presence.  Several noteworthy runestones have been located at various locales in North America.

Kensington Rune Stone

"8 Goths [Swedes] and 22 Norwegians on an exploration journey from Vinland westward. We had our camp by 2 rocky islets one day's journey north of this stone. We were out fishing one day. When we came home we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM save us from evil. We have 10 men by the sea to look after our ships, 14 days journey from this island. Year 1362."

The Kensington Runestone is a slab of grey stone,  which contains runic writing along one edge. Found in 1898 , embedded in the roots of a tree, on the property of a Scandinavian farmer [Olaf Ohman ] in Minnesota .

The stone has been examined by many scholars. Like any artifact which challenges established views , There has been extensive debate as to its authenticity.

Arguments for Authenticity Arguments against Authenticity


  • The tree under which the stone was found shows evidence of long contact with the stone. This is important in that if the tree were 40 years old, the stone would had to have been placed in the ground before there were many (any?) whites in the area.
  • The knoll on which it was found could have been an island at one time, as it rose at least 50 feet above the surrounding swamp. Assuming that the water table was different in Minnesota 600 years ago, the argument that significant portions of the area were submerged is not unthinkable.
  • Ohman himself never tried to make any money off the stone. In fact, he sold it for but a few bucks. If he were trying to perpetrate a fraud, it can be argued, why did he not ask for more money?
  • The prayer to Mary (AVM, or Ave Maria) is thoroughly Catholic, even though the Swedes of Minnesota are overwhelmingly Lutheran. The Swedes of the 14th Century, on the other hand, were Catholic.


  • The word opdagelsefard (voyage of discovery) did not occur in the language until several centuries after the 1362 date in the inscription.
  • The calendar is not dated to important events, as most runic inscriptions are.
  • The inscription uses the English word dead (spelled "ded" in the inscription).
  • There are some differences between the stone and various copies of it, leading some to speculate that the "copies" are actually drafts of the jape.
  • Finally, the face of the stone is unweathered, and the carving is crisp, hence there is no way is could have remained in the open for even a few years.


Extracted from

Kensington Runestone
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Paul Knutson Expedition

Paul Knutson [Powell Knutsson] was a Norse leader and alleged American explorer. Circa 1354 King Magnus VII of Norway directed him to conduct an expedition to Greenland to "insure the continuity of Christianity there."  He is said to have set out in 1355 and returned in 1363 or 1364.

Some theorists argue that Knutson traveled to North America, and that the Kensington Runestone may have been left by his group.


The Orders of King Magnus to Paul Knutson


Oklahoma Rune stones

The Heavener rune stone - Choctaw Indians of the 1830's, saw it, but could not read it. Various 19th Century people saw the stone, and it was eventually named "Indian Rock".  In 1923 the lettering was submitted to the Smithsonian Institution, who identified the Norse letters . In 1948, deciphering of the runes began, 38 years later Gloria Stewart Farley, who had seen the inscription as a child believed she had deciphered the runes which she claimed represented the date November 11, 1012 .

Two more runestones in the vicinity were later found near Poteau Mountain, not far  away, another small inscription of eight runes was found at a foothill near Cavanal Mountain, and another stone with five runes was found at Shawnee, Oklahoma.

In 1986, it was found that these 5 runestones had apparently been made even 2-3 centuries before the November 11, 1012 translation rendered by Gloria Stewart Farley, probably before 800 A.D. Dr. Richard Nielson made Translations in words, instead of numerals, he believes that the second and eighth runes are actually variants of the letter L, which permitted him to say that the Heavener runes are G-L-O-M-E-D-A-L, meaning Glome's Valley, and represent a land claim.

The Poteau runes are believed to be a memorial to the same person.  The Shawnee runestone is the name MEDOK, and was believed to be a gravestone. Other runestones in the vicinity of Poteau Mountain lack sufficient characters for any translation.

It is hypothesized that these Vikings crossed the Atlantic, found the Mississippi River, and sailed into its tributaries, the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers, around 750 A.D. This date is indicated by the grammar used on the Poteau Runestone.

"In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America"
[Gloria Farley]. One chapter of her book is devoted to the Oklahoma Runestones.

 Viking hoaxes in North America Viking hoaxes in North America [Jeffrey R Redmond]  theorizes that a Scandinavian member of a 1718 French expedition to the area may have carved his name in old Futhark runes for snorts and giggles.


Spirit Pond Rune Stones

Three rune stones from Spirit Pond, Maine were found in Maine in 1971. One bears a rough map of the area, the second has runic writing on one side. On the third, there are ten lines of runes on one side and six on the other. The inscription tells of a sudden storm and fearful men trying to save their ship from "the foamy arms of Aegir, angry god of the sea".






Norumbega  Legend

Generally considered a purely mythical city of the the American Northeast [New England] it has linked by some to Vikings in New England. In the late 19th century Dr Eben Norton Horsford attempted to link Norumbega to Viking settlements [The Discovery of the ancient city of Norumbega].

An early reference to Norumbega comes from a French navigator and explorer Jean Allefonsce [1484-1544]

"The river is more than 40 leagues wide at its entrance and retains its width some thirty or forty leagues. It is full of Islands, which stretch some ten or twelve leagues into the sea. ... Fifteen leagues within this river there is a town called Norombega, with clever inhabitants, who trade in furs of all sorts; the town folk are dressed in furs, wearing sable. ... The people use many words which sound like Latin. They worship the sun. They are tall and handsome in form. The land of Norombega lie high and is well situated."

 Betty Buckell has theorized that the town was on the Hudson.  Paul H Chapman, author of  "Norumbega: A Norse Colony In Rhode Island"  believes that the Norse settled in Rhode Island, and that after voyages to Vínland ceased, they became the Narragansett Indians, interbreeding and assimilating with the culture of nearby native Americans.


Miscellaneous Notes

Chapman, "Norumbega: A Norse Colony In Rhode Island", The Ancient American 1994.

A Norwegian coin from the 11th century was found in Maine in 1957 at a Native American archaeological site {Image}

The Origin and Deeds of the Goths reports Swedish-Germanic voyages to "isles in the Western Sea."  Circa 550 AD 

The The Heimskringla or the Sagas of the Norse Kings is another version of Leif Ericson's Wineland voyage.

1258AD Rolf of Iceland reports discovery of a New Land called "Nyaland" in the western continent.  Kongfriget Norges Historie.

1010AD Thorfin Karlsefni's expedition of 160 Greenlanders establish a camp in Vinland and explore the continent from Christian's Bay (later Hudson Bay) to Florida. After two years, they withdraw following a skirmish with Amerindians who they call Skraelings.

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Vikings in Ancient America