55

Columbus was not, in fact, the first to cross the Atlantic. There were Norse communities living in Greenland from the 10th Century. They even had some temporary settlements in North America proper. However, the Norse weren't as good at eking out a living in the North Atlantic as the Inuit, and (after 500 years) eventually got wiped out by some combination of ...


26

The evidence for this is weak, but interesting and indicative of "on a much smaller scale", but not "as well" as in equally transformative: From East to West: They introduced the mouse to the American continent. For sure, if we accept Greenland and Iceland as part of that continent, unsure if we only count Newfoundland: House mice samples from Iceland, ...


26

Sure, it's possible. Many things are possible. Likely, however, is another question. The link you posted describes a vague story of sailing west into the Atlantic, finding an island, trading with the locals, and returning home. Could the island be in the New World? It could, but it could just as easily be one of the islands in the Atlantic. For me to ...


24

The tablet is almost certainly a modern fake: Despite Gordon’s certainty about the genuineness of the inscription, he failed to find support from colleagues and, notably, entered into a bitter dispute with Frank Moore Cross Jr (born 1921), Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages Emeritus at Harvard. Cross pointed to problems with ...


12

No. The number of viking transfers back and forth were too small to make a significant difference. We only know from recent finds the Vikings did set up a small temporary settlement in Newfoundland. The discovery was made in the 60's. It's likely those vikings traveled to Newfoundland to gather wood (almost non existent on Greenland), wintered, and ...


10

While it would be hard to disprove an early Portuguese presence in New England, it seems unlikely. One could argue that 16th century fisherman don't often leave behind a wealth of evidence, but consider how much evidence survives linking the Portuguese to Newfoundland around the same time. According to Mark Kurlansky: A 1502 map identifies Newfoundland as ...


10

Thor Heyerdahl proved it was possible with the Kon-tiki raft to sail from South America to Polynesia. Later he did a similar experiment to see if Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic with boats build out of papyrus. More precisely, he didn't really prove it was possible: he proved it was not impossible. That doesn't want to say it was likely, and it ...


8

The stuff that people usually are talking about when they speak of the Columbian Exchange are domesticated animals, cultivated plants, and diseases. The first two obviously require people living on both sides to be living at a Neolithic level. In other words, they both have to be farmers or herders. The third actually requires the same thing, but ...


8

On a cultural level, yes. The Yupik peoples have inhabited both sides of Bering Straight for at least a couple of millennia, though there are distinctions between the Siberian and various Alaskan groups. Archaeological evidence on St. Lawrence Island, amidst the Bering Strait but slightly closer to Siberia than Alaska, demonstrates the cultural affinity to ...


7

There is some various "evidence", but all of it is of such low quality or shaky provenence that they are generally considered fakes. For example, we have the Heavener Runestone, in Oklahoma. The writing scheme employed, Elder Futhark runes, were used far before the other Viking excursions into North America, and two of the runes are incorrect. There are a ...


7

This is unproven. There are several major claims of possible prehistoric contact between Polynesians and the Americas. The Polynesian culture was the more maritime one. It reached as far as Easter Island with certainty, and why would it have not gone farther? The Inca did have seaworthy rafts but only for coasting. If Topa Inca Yupanqui's sea voyage truly ...


6

This article by Paul Wallin in Nature, July 2020, explains a recent paper by Ioannidis et al. Their genetic study makes the case that South Americans did sail to the Marquesas Islands in the late 12th century, where they encountered Polynesian people. The authors made the notable discovery that an initial admixture event between Native South Americans and ...


6

The article does not actually claim pre-Viking contact. We already know, from both the Icelandic Sagas and archaeology finds, that around 1000 AD, Vikings settled in Greenland, then tried it again in Newfoundland ("Vinland")(*). This latter expedition first cruised past two other pieces of land, called Helluland and Markland. These two most probably ...


6

"How likely is this pre-Viking contact looking?": Not very likely. The linked newspaper article mainly focuses on the finds and that they may be Viking, but is pretty vague on timing, talking about " from 1000 AD to 1450 AD or even earlier." and only later about dating of some yarn that "predates the Vikings". It it not clear that Sutherland (the ...


5

(I just want to add some information, from books by Kåre Prytz, and that does not seem to be mentioned in the other answers.) According to a note in Latin, written in 1637, based on a chronicle in Skálholt cathedral, which was apparently destroyed by fire in 1630 (Grönlands historiske mindesmærker, vol 3, p. 459), "the Greenlanders voluntarily abandoned the ...


5

It's technically not impossible, but extremely unlikely. Thor Heyerdahl proved Polynesians could travel to South America. It still is an open question if they ever did that. Claims of Mohammedans crossing the Atlantic I take with a grain (read: ton) of salt. Claiming is easy enough. Proving those claims is a very different matter. There is absolutely no ...


4

There is less spectacular evidence of Viking activity in the north which includes bits of iron, both meteoritic iron from Greenland and smelted iron from Iceland and Norway, bits of smelted copper and a few bits of sawn oak which were found in old aboriginal sites in the north including metal into the central high arctic. What is not known is exactly how ...


2

Well, there's the Maine Penny. It may have been traded from more northern tribes down the coast, or from Greenlanders who traveled much farther south than we knew.


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