Peter1469 wrote:So, Who Did Discover America?
It is well known that Columbus was not the first person from Europe to reach the Americas. This article covers Norse and Islamic sources.
Among these adventurers Leif Ericson (970-1020), the son of Eric the Red (c.950-1003), who had discovered Greenland, entered the history books for his sighting of Vinland in about 1000. True, one saga from 1387 states that a certain Bjarni, Son of Herjulf, had beaten Leif to Vinland, having been blown off course and sighted land there as early as 985-6. But no further support for the Bjarni claim has turned up.
Just what is meant, then, by this Norse ‘discovery’ of North America? Leif Ericson was a Christian missionary who had been sent to Greenland by King Olaf I of Norway (r.995-1000) with orders to bring the faith to settlements there. On the return voyage his boat was blown so far south that he was brought within view of Nova Scotia. The authors of the Norse sagas, amazed that he survived this adventure, dubbed him ‘Leif the Lucky’.
Except for Ericson, most of the other Norsemen who made contact with North America were traders by profession. Had their commercial interests fared better, they might have given the continent a second look, but they didn’t. Their one serious venture onto North American territory resulted in a fight with native Americans, after which they quickly fled to their boats. The southernmost confirmed evidence of Vikings in the New World was discovered in 1960 at L’Anse aux Meadows, on the northern tip of Newfoundland.
L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada...
When we ask who discovered America we automatically think of the nations who were technologically advanced at the time. But at the same time we know that hunter gatherers , despite the way some loath them and would deny them their place in history, discovered America and pretty much everywhere else. Except the poles. Some scared 100 pound kid first set foot on "the Americas" while hiding from a short faced bear . But others followed and they populated two contients with ancient' sustainable technology. The technology that made them so easy to defeat is the same technology that will eventually take us back to the stone age.