Modern tree sculpture of a Viking.
Columbus was not the first European to reach the Americas. The Vikings got there centuries beforehand, although exactly when has remained unclear. Here, an international team of scientists shows that Europeans were already active in the Americas in 1021 AD.
The Vikings sailed great distances in their iconic longships. To the west, they established settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and eventually a base at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. However, it has remained unclear when this first transatlantic activity took place. Here, scientists show that Europeans were present in the Americas in 1021 AD — precisely 1000 years …