SASS – UMass Boston – Fiske Center – Archaeology

Blog of the Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey


The name “Viking” evokes so much mythology.  Some of which is true, most of which is not.  In America when you think of Vikings you might think of Leif Erickson.  According to the Icelandic Sagas, Leif was the son of Eric the Red (hence Erickson).  Erik the Red was part outlaw, part explorer.  Eric the Red went from Norway to Iceland (because of some killings) and then in Iceland he was outlawed (again because of some killings).  During his exile from Iceland he found a land west of Iceland, unknown to Europeans.  While most of the land was ice, he did find some palaces that were suitable for the Icelandic farming style that relied on sheep and grass hay fodder.  Erik the Red called this land, Greenland.  About 980 AD Erik and some other folks from Iceland settled Greenland.  These settlements lasted for about 400 years.

While flying over Greenland yesterday, the name seems quite inappropriate (Iceland would have been a better name).  Now deep in Tunugdliaefik (Eric’s fjord) the name seems appropriate on this particularly nice day.

Erik’s son Leif, according to some of those same sagas, sailed to a land he called Vineland, which is in all likelihood North America.  Here in Qassiaesuk (Brattahild) there is large stature of Lief, he overlooks the fjord. We (Brian, Doug, Kat, John & John) decided that a picture was a good idea.

Tomorrow we are off to Igaliko fjord (the fjord just south of Narsarsuaq).  We don’t know how much internet access we wil have.  We will try and post when we have access.

One Comment

  1. Hey guys, how is the investigations going? I am a UMass student and interested in join you guys… Best wishes.

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