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[nafex] Re: Grapes in Vinland
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Ray Givan <raygivan@e...> wrote:
> There are two main theories. 1) The word "vin" and the story about
> may have been substited for the word "vi'n" meaning grassy pasture
> become obsolete when the sagas were written down in the 13th
century. 2) The
> settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows was not Vinland. Vinland proper
> south on the south shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence somewhere
> Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. This idea is supported by various
> botanical remains (haxelnuts, etc.) found at L'Anse aux Meadows
which had to
> have been imported from the southern shore of the Gulf since they
> grown in Newfoundland.
In his book "Westward to Vinland" (Macmillan, 1969) the Norwegian
Helge Ingstad who led the expedition which located and excavated the
Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, cites a good
deal of evidence in favour of the idea that "vin" was "the old Norse
word for 'grazing land' or 'meadow', as it exists in Norway today in
names such as Vinas and Vinje."
He states, "the sailing directions [in the sagas] ...the sailing
distance and the time spent at sea... and the descriptions of the
land point to the fact that the Norsemen settled on the north coast
of Newfoundland and that it was this area that was known as Vinland."
He also cites evidence suggesting that the Vikings were accustomed to
make wine from the berries which grew in Norway. We know that similar
berries grow in profusion in Newfoundland and in Labrador.
Ingstad also states his belief that the mentions in the sagas of
grapes having been found in Vinland and Markland (=Labrador!) arose
from misunderstandings by later bards and writers of the original
references to wine, or from an insertion of traditional and
conventional statements about newly discovered countries.
Ingstad and others cite evidence for the Norse having voyaged farther
than L'Anse aux Meadows, perhaps as far south as Rhode Island.