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Viking presence in the Americas pinpointed by ancient solar storm

It’s been known since the 1960s that the Vikings crossed the Atlantic and landed in North America but no-one could be sure exactly when. Attempts to date an archeological site in Newfoundland gave previous results spanning 300 years.

In this podcast we hear from a research team who've managed to obtain a remarkably precise date for Viking presence in America. By combing tree rings for traces of an ancient solar storm they can identify an individual year when Vikings were living on the continent. They hope that this technique could unravel other archaeological mysteries allowing historians better understand the distant past.

This is an extract from the 20th October 2021 episode of the Nature Podcast.

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