Baffin Island: A Norse Yarn

A piece of yarn proves the Norse arrived in North America before Columbus.

The Norse (Vikings) explored Baffin Island (Helluland – land of the flat stones) during the 13th century. Much before Columbus came to the Americas. Baffin Island was inhabited by Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos from 500 B.C. to 1500 A.D. These people wore clothes made from animal skins. Eskimos of this area did not spin fiber or weave. During excavation of the area, a piece of yarn was found. The yarn, 3 meters in length, was identified as a blend of fur of the Arctic hare and goat hair.┬áPatricia Sutherland, Associate Curator of the Canadian Museum of Civilization recognized the piece of yarn as being similar to yarn she had seen before. The previous piece was from an archaeological excavation of a medieval Norse farm in Greenland. Research is continuing to find out more information about the Norse in Pre-Columbian America.

norse yarn
A little bit of yarn goes a long way.