American Archaeology Uncovers the Vikings

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In Cities and Towns across the United States and Canada, historical archaeologists dig for clues about what happened in North America after Europeans arrived.

The people who settled here did not usually leave behind documents such as diaries, letters, maps, and land deeds. They did leave garbage-food bones, tools, broken dishes, buttons, bottles, toys, and gun parts. Archaeologists dig through time as they carefully scrape away soil, layer by layer, to uncover objects used by ...

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Overview

In Cities and Towns across the United States and Canada, historical archaeologists dig for clues about what happened in North America after Europeans arrived.

The people who settled here did not usually leave behind documents such as diaries, letters, maps, and land deeds. They did leave garbage-food bones, tools, broken dishes, buttons, bottles, toys, and gun parts. Archaeologists dig through time as they carefully scrape away soil, layer by layer, to uncover objects used by people along ago. By examining these articrafts, we are able to discover the stories of Dutch, English, African, Spanish-even Viking-settlers in North America.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
Were the Vikings really the first Europeans to discover America? During the Viking Age (about 750—1300), Scandinavian raiders, explorers and traders spread out across Europe and the Atlantic Ocean. Myths and legends developed, claiming settlements in different areas of North America. How to sort truth from fiction? The historical archaeologist specializes in looking at clues and piecing together answers to such questions. These clues are discovered through excavation and examination of old settlements using a method called stratigraphy. This means to carefully examine separate layers of soil. Field scientists have concluded that the earliest and only Viking settlement identified to date is L'Anse aux Meadows in what is present-day Newfoundland. The stories the past has to tell us are often hidden in dirt and debris, and the detritus of past civilizations. Analysis of broken objects and other items found in the garbage areas of old settlements reveal much about the everyday life of the people who lived there, including when the settlement was founded. But some answers remain elusive. Was this also the mythical "Vinland" of legend? Educated guesses are that Vinland was an area to the south of the L'Anse aux Meadows site. But no conclusive evidence exists that identifies a specific Vinland settlement separate from L'Anse aux Meadows. The book's concluding information includes a time line, a glossary, a list of books, websites and DVDs offering further information, a bibliography, and an index. This book is one in the "American Archaeology" series and would be a good resource in a middle school classroom or any library. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Huey enthusiastically brings these five different eras to life through artifacts and field research. Each volume begins with an identical introduction that defines "historical archaeology" and explains its value in terms simple enough for lower-elementary readers to comprehend, yet detailed enough for older children to enjoy, an approach followed in the remaining chapters. The author presents better-known archaeological mysteries, such as that of the Lost Colony of Roanoake, as well as more obscure ones, such as the escaped-slave community at Fort Mose in Florida. The visually pleasing books are replete with maps, paintings, and photographs, all appropriately placed and thoughtfully captioned. Occasionally, the author's descriptions of field sites become overly complex and hard to follow, but do not heavily detract from the work. Different from Trevor Barnes's Archaeology (Kingfisher, 2004), which is a survey of the field across the globe, Huey's focus on American history, which is broken down into small, manageable chunks, is sure to entice budding historians. Classroom teachers will find their students begging for a field trip to one of these sites.—Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761442707
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: American Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

What is Historical Archaeology? 4

Introduction: The Viking in America 8

1 The Viking Age 12

2 Viking Sagas 20

3 Who "Discovered" America? 26

4 The L'Anse aux Meadows Site 32

5 What Archaeologists 44

Time Line 53

Glossary 54

Further Information 56

Bibliography 57

Index 60

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