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”.

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

  1. Erik a lot of US cities…. have dumped…. Columbus day ….recently ….:-)

  2. Ja we Scandinavians explored North American way before the Europeans explored America yet do we have Scandinavian day no. We have some dumb Spaniard who never set foot on American soil.We have Columbus day and all federal government closes down . Let me ask you one simple question , Odin promised to get rid of all ice giants and Jesus promised to get rid of all wicked people in the world ,I don’t see any ice giants do you. Let me put a shout out to all us quiet Swedes every body zips their pants up , invented by a quiet Swede. first iron clad battle ship the Monitor invented by an Swede.

    • Dumb SPANIARD? Columbus was assuredly Italian 😀

    • Olav Larsen | August 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm |

      Norwegian-Italian working for the Spanish:
      One theory is that Christobal Columbus (= Colon meaning farmer) was the son of a Norwegian statesman who was forced to flee the country and ended up in Italy. His name was Bonde (meaning farmer). Theory is also that Kristoffer Kolombus sailed on ships to the far north Thule, and it is rather sure that he was on Iceland. There he must have picked up the stories about Vinland and the content to the West – even maybe an old map? Interesting . . .

    • Proud of Swedish heritage, ancestors came over and settled New Sweden in southern NJ and Delaware and Philadelphia area and then the English took over

    • Giuseppe, Do some research and you will find that the preponderance of evidence indicates that Columbus was a Spaniard. I am an Italian-American and I am glad to know that one of my countrymen was not responsible for the atrocities, including genocide, that Columbus’ “discovery” of the New World led to.

    • what the hell did I just read?!

    • Ja vist,that’s why all the Spaniards line the streets to watch the parades on Columbus day,he sailed for Queen Isabella of Spain but he was most definitely an Italian with a piss poor sense of direction,Indians indeed jackass.

    • And for the record, Jesus never promised to get rid of all the wicked people, and Odin didn’t get rid of the ice giants because they never existed.

    • We have an Italian, sailing for Spain who never set foot on the the actual US.

    • Columbus was Italian, Angelina, do a lil research of your own pinhead.

  3. In north Georgia there is a place called Fort Mountain. Local native legend referred to”moon eyed” people who built the fort. Its prehistoric for the area and are european style rock walls

  4. As well as being “Johny Come Lately”, Columbus never sat fot on the North American Mainland.

  5. Well, that would explain how the Irish Monks got here…

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