The Farfarers: Before the Norse
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The Farfarers: Before the Norse (2000) is a book by Farley Mowat that sets out a theory about pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. Mowat's thesis is that even before the Vikings, North America was discovered and settled by Europeans originating from Orkney who reached Canada after a generation-spanning migration that used Iceland and Greenland as 'stepping stones'. Mowat's ideas are controversial and have been accused of being over-speculative. The book has been published in the UK as The Alban Quest.
which they might or might not continue south. Okak valuta folk therefore had the first opportunity to trade, and could command premium prices for their goods. Early in June of 997, Farfarer, with a crew of eight men, six women, and three youngsters, prepared to return to Okak from a cove in Tusker Bay where she had wintered. Walrus had been plentiful and the previous summer’s slaughter on the beaches had yielded several casks of ivory. During the winter Beothuks had guided some of Farfarer’s
of historians have concluded that these accounts are based on memories of raids by European pirates on southern Greenland. I submit that most probably originated in clashes between the two Norse settlements. Early in the fifteenth century there was a major escalation in the conflict. In 1448 Pope Nicholas V wrote to the bishops of Skalhölt and Hólar in Iceland, directing them to send priests to Greenland. The situation there, he told the bishops, had become desperate. Thirty years ago [that
the anchor and go ashore for good.” The merchantman’s departure had been a gloomy event; those who watched her grow small on the horizon being all too well aware that they might not see her like for a long time. Now, as the old man shaded his eyes against the glare of sun on sea he thought he saw the flicker of a distant sail. Aged he might be, but his sight was still keen. He watched, transfixed, as his dream of the night became a reality in the morning—a kind of reality—for he had never
European-type homestead was built on the Westman Islands. 730–733 Bede wrote of Thule. 700–800 Selenius mentioned Thule in his Book of Marvels. 770–790 Dicuil recorded the visit of monks to Thule. Bishop Patrick of the Hebrides referred to Iceland as Thule. 865 The first recorded visit of the Norse to Iceland. 4 Margrét Hermanns-Audardóttir, Islands Tidiga Bosattning (Umea, Sweden: Umea Universitet, 1989). It should be noted that, although the validity of Dr. Hermanns-Audardóttir’s
masthead and even her steeply up-tilted bowsprit could not be seen from deck level. The Foggy Strait, as mariners called it, was, and remains, one of the world’s great fog machines. Keeping the lead going and relying on his knowledge of the currents and of the bottom, the pilot at last brought the big ship safely around the prominent headland of Cape Hope’s Advance and into Diana Bay. Poised strategically at the western junction of Ungava Bay and Hudson Strait, Diana Bay was easy to recognize