Leif Ericson, First European to Discover America

Photo Source: History. fandom

INDEPHEDIA.com - Leif Ericson (Read: Erikson) was an explorer from Iceland who was said to be the first European to set foot on the American continent.

Leif --that's how he's called--- was born around 970 or 980 to Erik the Red (father) and his wife Thjodhild (mother).

Erick the Red, Leif Ericson's father, is credited with establishing the first settlement in Greenland.

Leif Ericson, the second of three children, grandson of Thorvaldr Ásvaldsson and distant relative of Naddodd, who discovered Iceland.

Although Leif's date of birth is still unknown, his childhood was spent in the Eastern Settlements of Greenland.

Discoverer of the Americas

In about 1000 AD, Leif Ericson sailed for Norway. There, he met King Olaf I Tryggvason and was sent back to Greenland.

Although Leif sailed again to Greenland, the details and motives for his return are still being debated. However, it was believed that it was then that he landed on the dry plains of North America.

Leif's anchorage point was then known as Nova Scotia, one of the three coastal provinces of present-day Canada.

The plains are also known as Vinland, a name derived from the abundance of wild grapes growing in this region.

Historians believe that Ericson had heard about the existence of Vinland from an Icelandic merchant named Bjarni Herjulfsson.

Herjulfsson had seen the North American continent from a voyage he made 14 years before Ericson. However, he never set foot on the plains.

Photo Source: Lifeinnorway

Established the Settlement of L'Anse aux Meadows

In Vinland, Leif Ericson founded a Norse settlement defined as L'Anse aux Meadows, located in the northern tip of Newfoundland, Canada.

The arrival of Leif Ericson and the founding of the settlement of L'Anse aux Meadows in this area, is seen by many, Leif as the first European to reach North America, rather than Christopher Columbus.

It is known that Leif arrived on the coast of North America about five centuries before Columbus arrived in 1492. He is believed to have lived there until he died in 1020.

America's Oldest European Settlement Area

Once upon a time, this Viking settlement at L'Anse-aux-Meadows in northern Newfoundland, Canada, was discovered by Norwegian explorers in the 1960s.

Historical and archaeological evidence of the existence of this colony, in the form of the remains of Viking burials in the area. From the results of research and excavation, more than 2,000 Viking items were found at the site.

The oldest European settlement area ever discovered in North America is now a UNESCO-recognized national historic site. (TK/SJ/IND)

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