USA: Viking Ship Discovered Near Mississippi River

Memphis, TN | A group of volunteers cleaning up the shores of the Mississippi River near the biggest city in Tennessee have stumbled upon the remains of an ancient boat encrusted in mud.

A team of archeologists from the University of Memphis that was rapidly called to the site, confirmed that the ship is most certainly a Viking Knarr, suggesting the Norse would have pushed their exploration of America a lot further than historians previously thought.

The heavily damaged ship was found near the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers and lies on a private property.

It has a length of about 16 meters, a beam of 4.5 meters, and a hull that is estimated capable of carrying up to 24 to 28 tons, a typical size for this type of ship.

Knarrs were naval vessels that were built by the Norsemen from Scandinavia and Iceland for Atlantic voyages but also used for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during an era known as the Viking Age, that goes approximately from 793 to 1066 AD.

They were clinker built, which means the overlapping of planks riveted together. It was capable of sailing 75 miles (121 km) in one day and held a crew of about 20 to 30 men.

One of the only artefacts on the site, this sword was probably abandoned after it broke, suggesting a violent battle.

One of the only artifacts on the site, this sword was probably abandoned after it broke, suggesting a violent battle.

This new discovery could be one of the oldest evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and it certainly brings to mind the famous colony of “Vinland” mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas. 

This mythical colony would have been established by Leif Ericson around the same period as the settlement at l’Anse aux Meadows, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most famous site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America outside Greenland.

Butternuts found in the Newfoundland site had already suggested that the Norse had explored the continent because they do not grow naturally north of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, hundreds of kilometers away from any known Viking settlement.

The carbon dating of the new ship estimates that it dates from between 990  and 1050 AD, approximately the period associated with Vinland and the various Canadian sites (L’Anse aux Meadows, Tanfield Valley, Avayalik Islands).

This could mean that the that the Viking had actually developed a far wider trade network in the Americas that what was traditionally believed.

Unfortunately, very few other artifacts have yet been found on the site, suggesting the crew must have most likely abandoned the ship and continued on foot.

Professor James Milbury, who leads the research team working on the site, believes the Norse could have been killed by natives.

Professor James Milbury, who leads the research team working on the site, believes the Norse could have been killed by Chickasaw natives.

More searches are to be expected in the area over the next few years, as scientists will now certainly try to look for any artifacts or historical traces that could lead them to understand what happened to the crew of the ship.

Many myths from local native tribes will also be analyzed by historians from the team to see if they could hold useful information, as both Chickasaw and Choctaw mythologies include many stories of fights against “red-haired devils”.

5 Comments on "USA: Viking Ship Discovered Near Mississippi River"

  1. gimmee a break. haven’t you people heard of the RUNESTONE state park in heavener oklahoma ?

  2. USAmericans …. *smacks head* 🙁 quarter this, half that…

  3. It is a lot of interesting facts mentioned in the comments below the article. However to get things 100% correct; Normandy was the given the name from the people that invaded the area, nordmenn (in english that is norwegian). Not swedes or danish. The book that first describe Vinland is written in icelandic. Again, Icelandic was inhabited of Norwegian in the end of the 9th century due to a conflict between rival kings in Norway. Because of the isolated position in the middle of the Atlantic, Icelanders still speak exactly the language spoken in Norway 1000 years ago and is the same still learned by norwegian kids at secondary school. And this is the language used to descrive trips to the vest and the area Vinland (USA). It would therefore be more surprising if they did NOT find a old viking boat in there….

    The Scandinavian languages is very similar today due to hundreds of years with increased contact. So you can argue that people from Iceland is more “norwegian” than the people living in Norway today at least when it comes to language and culture.

    Nevertheless; Normanerne known from the famous battle in UK in 1066 and the area Normandy in France was given their name from who the poeple was. Nordmenn/Norwegian.

  4. Islam started around 600. Mohammed, claimed he was given revelations in a cave by the angel Gabriel, the same angel who visited the Virgin Mary. In fact, he likely was visited by the fallen angel Lucifer. God allowed this to enable the descendants of Ishmael to play an eschatological role. Anyone reading the Qu’ran will know that Islam, rather than a religion, is no more than a death cult. Muslims are called on to either convert or murder Jews, Christians, and anyone else who won’t embrace Islam.

  5. My father’s middle name was Olaf.. so that makes me 85% Viking.

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