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Beyond Norse America: Fieldwork and preliminary work at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

A visual display by Charlotte Whyte

Date & time
Thursday, March 16, 2023 (all day)

This event is free and open to the public (offered in person only)


Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability, and 4th Space


Rebecca Tittler


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


This MSc research will reconstruct past environmental changes and possible direct human impacts at the L’Anse aux Meadows UNESCO World Heritage site on the northern tip of Newfoundland, Canada. The goal of this project is to provide vegetation and climatic context of the past 2,000 years for the new work currently being done at the site by an archaeological team from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Although archaeological evidence indicates the site was occupied episodically by Indigenous people for 5,000 years, past research has focused almost exclusively on the relatively short period of Viking occupation. In contrast, there is currently very little research or published work on the much longer Indigenous occupation of the area. To contribute to this gap in the knowledge, I collected a lake sediment core near the site in August, 2022 which I will analyze to document past vegetation changes and possible human impacts, focusing on the pre-Columbian period. Using pollen, micro-charcoal, sediment grain-size analysis, XRF-scanning, terrestrial plant macrofossils, and aDNA preserved in the core, together with radiocarbon dating to provide a core chronology, I will reconstruct past vegetation and environmental changes before, during, and after the main periods of Indigenous and Norse occupations. With my work, we hope to better understand the ecological conditions of Indigenous and Norse interactions and match climate reconstructions to human adaptations.

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