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Originally posted by Kandinsky
The best evidence is an 11th century settlement discovered at L' Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland (I'd avoid wiki but it's probably the best page out there...the YT vids are awful).
Vinland Map of America no forgery, expert says
In 1931 a railroad brakeman named James Edward Dodd found a broken sword and fragments of an axe and shield near Beardmore Ontario east of Lake Nipigon. Upon extensive examination, European Norse experts agreed that the relics were authentic Norse weapons.  Similarly, an artifact called the Kensington Runestone was unearthed in 1898 by a Norwegian-American farmer in West-Central Minnesota. Now residing in a Minnesota Museum, the stone carries an inscription that depicts an attack on a party of Goths and Norwegians that took place in 1362. The authenticity of this artifact is in dispute. 
The stone says it was a party of norse and "goths" and it has a rune specific to 14th century gotland.
Recently[when?], an authentic rune was discovered in a 13th century document that was identical to one of the unusual runes on the Runestone, which linguistic experts had suggested was invented by a hoaxer. In response, Wolter examined each individual rune on the Kensington stone with a microscope. He found a series of dots engraved inside four R-shaped runes. Research found that identical dotted runes are found only on 14th century graves in churches on the island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden. Wolter considered this proof of the runestone's authenticity.
Originally posted by punkinworks
Its a certainty that the norse penetrated much farther into north american than in presently accepted.
These parties of only a few men would have left a very small footprint, almost undetectable.
Like JC says ,from larger base camps like L'ans aux Meadows, they set out on small scale trips, trips to fish for salmon and for fur hunting.
The fact they didnt stay has more to do with climate than anything else.
In 1931 a railroad brakeman named James Edward Dodd found a broken sword and fragments of an axe and shield near Beardmore Ontario east of Lake Nipigon. Upon extensive examination, European Norse experts agreed that the relics were authentic Norse weapons.
"In Eirik the Red's day, Norse merchant ships (knarrs) had taken the most direct route from Iceland to east Green Land, along Latitude 65 north, then coasted south and west round Cape Farewell to the Eastern Settlement. Even In those warmer times, ships foundered in offshore gales, were dashed to pieces against the rugged Greenland and Icelandic coasts, capsized when overloaded, or were simply blown off coarse never to be seen again.
" By 1250, many fewer ships made the crossing to the Norse colonies. Those that dared traveled a much more hazardous route, far from land in the open Atlantic. A skipper now sailed a a day and a night due west from Iceland, then altered southwestward to avoid the pack ice off southeastern Greenland"
"Two and a half centuries later , in 1492, Pope Alexander VI remarked in a letter that "shipping to that country [Greenland] is very infrequent because of extensive freezing of the waters-no ship having put into shore, it is believed, for eighty years"
The Vérendrye Runestone was allegedly found on an early expedition into the territory west of the Great Lakes by the French Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye, in the 1730s. It is not mentioned in the official records of La Vérendrye's expeditions, but in 1749 he discussed it with visiting Swedish scientist Pehr Kalm, from whose writings virtually all information about the stone is taken.
According to Kalm, Vérendrye's expedition found the tablet—measuring about 5 inches wide and 13 inches long, and carved on both sides with characters unfamiliar to them—on the top of an upright stone (referred to by some, perhaps incorrectly, as a cairn) in a location which, from the description, may have been near present-day Minot, North Dakota. When asked, natives of the area claimed that the tablet and standing stone had always been there together.
Among his many accomplishments, Kalm can be credited for the first description of the Niagara Falls, written by someone trained as a scientist.
Settlers and traders from throughout the North Atlantic drifted west to escape the grasp of royal tax collectors and bishops demanding tithes. On becoming Vinlanders, they lived primitively, much as French trappers did centuries later, marrying Indian women and leaving few traces.
According to Mr. Lilliestrom, their numbers may have spiked around 1110. A reported 10,000 Norwegian crusaders returning from the Middle East sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar that year, but there is no record of a homecoming in Norway. Mr. Lilliestrom thinks they may have sailed or been swept westward on the current that would later bring Spaniards to America. On sighting land, he said, they would instinctively have turned north and found the Vinland farers.
Such an infusion would have raised Vinland's profile, accounting for later mentions of the place in Icelandic annals and even, Mr. Lilliestrom said, on the infamous Vinland Map.
Originally posted by punkinworks
The runestone says the party was made of norse and gotlanders, and it uses runes appropriate to gotland in the 14th centurie, come on .
It fits with the 14th century weapons found in ontario canada. and with possible mooring stones found in minnesota that are strikingly similar to what is used in scandanavia in the 14th century.
How much more evidence do people need.
And here is the all-important point. Although some investigators —
including myself — accept the probability that a grave (or a deposit)
containing Norwegian Viking weapons was found at Beardmore in
1930, and even if from this the conclusion may be drawn that in the
beginning of the eleventh century Norwegian Vikings penetrated
North America deep enough to reach the area east of Lake Nipigon
(perhaps via Hudson Bay and James Bay), this does not conceal the
fact that it has been impossible to produce clear evidence in support of
it ; we have merely a certain degree of probability. And in that case
we lack justification for employing the Beardmore find as a reliable
archeological document for the present. www.archive.org...
Originally posted by punkinworks
the chinese treasure ship voyages led by Zheng He
The real Sinbad
Travelled all over the east and indian ocean and my have journeyed into the atlantic and maybe to the americas as is claimed by Gavin Menzies.
Although he is strongly disagreed with in the historical community, it is a good possiblity.
I honestly haven read his book or the refutations of it, but its not a strecth, and and Zheng He's logs of his last two voayages were destroyed by the succesive emporer. But they did make it as far as africa.
Originally posted by aorAki
I found the research of Menzies to be dubious at best....
If he is so wrong on this matter, I wonder how rigid his research has been regarding the rest?