The real-life Golden Land that Ubbe is searching for on Vikings

Ubbe’s storyline on the show references the long history of Viking exploration, not just throughout Europe and Scandinavia, but westward across the Atlantic. Colonies were established on Iceland and Greenland, but the Golden Land Ubbe is searching for doesn’t correspond with either of these: Instead it’s located in North America, which the Vikings explored and attempted to settle hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus sailed.

Viking sagas tell of a merchant, Bjarni Herj√≥lfsson, who was blown off course on his way to Greenland around 985 CE and encountered land to the west before doubling back toward his original destination. He reportedly told his tales to Leif Erikson, who would eventually sail back the way Herj√≥lfsson’s came around the year 1000 and discover new islands that would be christened Helluland (likely Baffin Island), Markland (likely Labrador), and Vinland (believed to be in the vicinity of Newfoundland or New Brunswick).

Other sources, such as the eleventh century German writer Adam of Bremen, corroborate the general details of the exploration of Vinland, but archaeologists didn’t uncover evidence of Viking presence until the 1960s, at a site known as L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. It’s unclear which Viking expedition the site is connected to, but some historians believe Norse expeditions to the New World could have continued for as many as 400 years.

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