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L Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada

At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula is the first known evidence of European presence in the Americas. Over 1,000 years ago, Norse expeditions sailing from Greenland built a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings. Known as L’Anse aux Meadows, from French ‘bay of the grasslands’, it was rediscovered in 1960 and is one of the most celebrated archaeological sites in North America. It is most noted for its connection to the legendary Vinland colony established by Leif Erikson, and to Norse exploration in the Americas. Prior to 1960, it was believed that Christopher Columbus was the first European to land in America. Now it is accepted that almost 500 years prior, Viking long-ships sailed into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. L’Anse aux Meadows is the farthest known extent of Viking settlement in the New World. In 1978, the remains of its eight sod buildings were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.