The media got quiet excited these days about an report of Spain’s Centre for Scientific Research about a possible link of American people in Iceland long before Columbus discovered America. While there is no direct evidence for such a claim, there are several leads, that support such a speculation. Let’s have a look at the facts.
The first Americans in Europe of which we can be sure of, were brought to Europe amongst other things like foreign fruits and gold by Christopher Columbus.
Another fact is, that there has been the largest gene-mapping project so far on the island of Iceland, which was basically isolated since the 10th century. During this project, scientists found the genes of an American woman in the 80 different genome of 80 different people. So far they could follow the trail back to a group of people from 1710. Also, they could eliminate several explanations like Asians coming to the island, cause that was only at the end of the 18th century. However the trail ends in 1710, where are definitely American genes around.
This is as far back as the trail leads. The rest is speculation or explanation. However, accepting, that Iceland was not really the traffic arteria, it could be true, that the American Genes came to Iceland even before the 10th century. Accepting further that this could be the case, there is one group of people, that are very likely suspects in that case: the Vikings.
There is an old viking settlement in eastern Canada, that’s for sure. It’s not sure how old it is and of course we can’t be sure, that there was traffic between America and Iceland in a way, where an indigenous woman would be brought to Iceland. But a theory like this would explain not only the genome finding, but also extend our knowledge about the Vikings. Was it a rough kidnapping or a romantic American-Icelandic relationship? We’ll probably never know.
However, we now have a theory which promotes, that the Americans Columbus brought to Europe were not the first of their kind. We will be following further examinations and their results.