After the recent confirmation by a 2021 study that it was not Christopher Columbus who first discovered America, but the Vikings, a new study published in Antiquity provides further evidence to support this thesis. According to the study, the people of Greenland reached the eastern shores of the New World 500 years before Columbus.
"The findings underscore the fact that the Greenland Vikings had the tools, knowledge and ships to cross the Davis Strait and land on the east coast of North America," the researchers comment.
The study is based on the analysis of some wood remains found in a Viking site in western Greenland, between 985 and 1450 AD. By looking at the cellular structure of the wood, the researchers were able to determine that some of the trees were not native to Greenland or Northern Europe, such as the Banks pine, typical of the Canadian Rockies.
Greenland's arctic climate and arid terrain made it a territory almost devoid of the resources necessary for a medieval society to thrive. A 13th-century Norse text said "everything necessary to improve the territory must be bought abroad, including iron and wood used in building houses."
For years there has been evidence supporting the arrival of Vikings in America before Columbus. Some fourteenth-century Italian texts speak of the arrival of Norsemen at a place called Marckalada, which was thought to be in Canada. But the final proof came in the 1960s, when archaeologists discovered a Viking village on the island of Newfoundland dating back nearly 1,000 years.
In addition to the Vikings there are several theories that suggest that others reached the Americas before Columbus. It is about an Irish monk, a Chinese explorer or a British naval officer, these theories are not supported by any evidence, but one thing is certain that it was not Columbus who discovered America.