Fara Heim joins and attends the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada

In May the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC) was held at Brock University. AASSC is an interdisciplinary group focusing on humanities and social studies related to Scandinavia. David attended the opening reception sponsored by Jan-Terje Storaas of the Norwegian Embassy. Another event was sponsored by Britt Bengtsson of the Swedish Embassy. Image our surprise to realize that Iceland is not considered a Scandinavian country and the Icelandic Embassy neither attended or sponsored any events.

While the government of Iceland was not involved topics included interpreting Icelandic Sagas about the Norse interactions meeting the American Natives (meaning Leif and Thorfinn who were Icelandic), Greenland settlements by the Norse (really begin the Icelanders) and Icelandic crime fiction and how it is affected by Norse manuscripts.

A highlight of the event was sitting down with Birgitta Wallace who had worked on the Norse archaeological site in Newfoundland and discussing “were we should look”. She believes that the Newfoundland site was, while built like a long-term settlement, only a stop along a route further south of the tip of Newfoundland. She has her thoughts on where that settlement is but it will be a difficult search. She did tell us to take a look in Ungava Bay.

One key thing we learned is that Norse artifacts aren’t being found by people looking for Norse artifacts but by people researching aboriginal historical sites. The top layers of a dig usually have recent to 1,000 year old artifacts. Then, if they have found Norse artifacts, they find things sandwiched between new and old aboriginal layers. I guess a good camp site is a good camp site and travelers reuse the sites! Birgitta’s opinion was that there are artifacts to be found but they won’t be attached to any permanent settlements.

We also discussed using satellite imagery and she suggested Lidar would also be a useful tool.

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