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Markland is the name given to a part of shoreline in Labrador, Canada, named by Leif Eriksson when he landed in North America. Markland, Norse for "forestland" or "borderland", is known to be north of Vinland and south of Helluland. Lead by Thorfinn Karlsefni, 160 men and women settled in Markland for winter protection during the explorations of Leif Eriksson. The story is told in the Saga of the Greenlanders. It is generally believed to be Labrador, as Labarador lies in the heavily forested taiga region of the Northern Hemisphere. Ericson's crew cut down trees and took them to Greenlandmarker, because Greenlandmarker had relatively few trees in the Viking period. Excavation of Viking settlements has shown the presence of birch trees, probably because the climate was then much warmer. It is known as the Medieval Warm Period. Arctic Greenland is, however, now well above the Arctic tree line.

It has further been claimed that Markland probably was Southern Labrador, with Helluland being Northern Labrador (divided by the Groswater Bay/Lake Melvillemarker).

Although it was never apparently settled by Norsemen, there were probably several later expeditions from Greenland to gather timber.

References

  1. Michael Kraus, Davis D. Joyce, The Writing of American History, ISBN 080612234X
  2. Where in North America did the Vikings Settle?


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