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”.

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

  1. …. I think the Tennessee VIKINGS have a better chance if winning the Superbowl! !!!

    • OMG finally someone said it – it’s the first thing I thought when I saw the headline!

  2. I don’t know about the vikings however the Celts and Picts were certainly serious warriors. Ask the Romans.

  3. jeanne anne decosta | August 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply

    they came up the St. Lawrence & got into the great lakes ~ they could burn their boats & sift the ashes for metal fasteners then rebuild them on the other side of the divide ~ they came down Lake Michigan & got into the Illinois River then down the Mississippi past Cahokia to the mouth of the Arkansas ~ they wanted to see how far west they could get so they went up the Arkansas ~ surprising that 1uv their boats has been discovered but not surprising that they were there

    • do you have any idea whatsoever as to how long it takes to build a Knarr ship, it takes longer than than building a long boat!

    • It doesn’t take the whole summer for a crew of twelve or twenty to build a knarr. . . And what else did they have to do, other than hunt and gather and trade with the locals?

  4. Well .. the Vikings would be welcomed back .. to fight the Worlds New Blody Enemies .. the Muslims !

    • I am sorry to inform you that the vikings did a lot of trade with the muslims in islamic caliphate (where Bagdad was the capital) and also served as guards there, so I guess you will have to take care of the more barbaric issues yourself, while the vikings will do business…

    • Well spoken!

    • The enemy will allways be the ones without knowledge. They allways attack everyone and never ask a single question!

    • Well, being able to trace my ancestors back all the way to the Vikings, and knowing many others around here who can do the same, I can testify to the fact, there`s nothing we would like more then fight the muslims out of our country! They are the scourge of our time. We take pride in being the Vikings of this time, and proudly fought alongside the US in Afghanistan and Irak. The best to all of you, Jan Dam, Copenhagen, Denmark – Scandinavia.

    • The enemy of the world? That would be the US easy. There is no other nation or gruping of people that go around killing more inesent people than the us. there is a bigger chanse to get shot by the cops in the us or getting hitt by litning, than to get killed by than a terrorist. Also most terrorist are not muslim. So take you rassism and putt it were the sun dont shine, and go and so some reserche….

  5. Odin-ism is from Nordic mythology-it is the ONE-EYED GOD -a town in Denmark still carries his name ;ODENSE-which actually means ODINS EYE-or island.It is far older than Christianity.*

    • Kamilla Prins | August 15, 2014 at 6:29 am |

      There are two, actually. Odense and Vojens, the latter meaning the same, butspelle differently owing to local dialect.

    • Martin Maxwell | August 15, 2014 at 9:58 am |

      Tyrism, or Tiwaz-ism, pre-dates “Odinism”. Odin/Wotan only became chief god after the mythological battle between Asar and Valar.

      Most Germanic tribes held Tyr/Tiwaz to be the highest god, until about the 600-800 AD when in some areas Odin/Wotan usurped Tyr/Tiwas.

      That’s possibly the reason why Tuesday (Tyr/Tiwaz’ Day) still comes before Wednesday (Odin/Wotan’s Day) in the calendar, and the number of placenames related to Tyr/Tiwaz in Europe, UK and Scandinavia exceeds the ones related to Odin/Wotan.

    • I’m sorry but it seems that you haven’t got the slightest clue of what you are talking about.
      The name Odense is derived from Odins Vé, meaning “Odin’s sanctuary” as the area was known as a sanctuary for worshippers of the Nordic god, Odin
      Odense is still called Óðinsvé in Icelandic.

    • Sorry, Odense means Odin’s vi – i.e. Odin’s shrine

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