The Vikings Discovered America

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Grant Wright
10/5/12
Carleton
5th

The Vikings Discovered America

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, allegedly. There are quite a few claims on who discovered America; most of them predate Columbus. One recent claim is by Gavin Menzies, that China discovered America. I, however, refute this claim. It’s clear the Vikings discovered out current home from the story of Leif Erikson, Vinland, and that Menzies’ claim is just absurd.

During Bjerni Herjolfssen’s journey to Greenland, his ship went off course due to a storm, and he spotted an unusual land mass. He managed to make his way back to Greenland and told his buddy, Leif Erikson, who promptly sailed away with his crew to find this peculiar land mass[1]. This account was written and documented [3]. This may be compelling enough, but what they left behind was the icing on the cake.

When Leif and his crew landed on this new land, they quickly began to colonize. Remains of this colony, called Vinland, have been found; archaeologists agree the architecture is Norse [2]. However, they didn’t colonize very successfully, and either died or fled. The cause of this is disputed. Whether from climate conditions or fierce resistance from Native Americans, the colonization never spread, and the Vikings never came back. If all this isn’t enough, and you are a firm believer in Menzies, prepare to think of yourself as a dunce.

Menzies’ claims are simply absurd, ridiculous, and inaccurate [Doc C]. The anchor to Menzies’ claims is a Chinese map dated to 1418. However, the written Mandarin uses anachronistic grammar, and the materials used to make the map were never used back then [5]. The map is a fake. Not to mention the impossibility of Chinese ships passing through the Suez Canal, but Menzies’ claims just don’t add up [6]. The evidence for the Vikings is surmounting, and Menzie’s claims are frail and unbelievable.

Ergo, it’s quite obvious who discovered America. The story of Leif Erikson,...
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