Review: Vikings in America – Graeme Davis

If you only read one book on Vikings this year…

Now that I’m living in Denmark, for some reason I’m finding the Viking period of history more and more interesting. Must be something in the air.

Anyway, I recently read this one. As it says on the cover, it is about the Vikings in America. About how they came to ‘discover’ America (via Scotland, Iceland, then Greenland), how they without doubt traded, explored and lived there for a hell of a lot longer than is generally thought, and how they may well have even given the (northern) continent its name.

The author certainly knows his stuff and approaches the topic form a wide variety of angles. From the theoretical, to the archiological, to the linguistic. It is bang up-to-date and mentions most of the most recent scientific, DNA research and theories.

It is in fact, the theoretical ideas he poses, that give the book a special edge. He poses questions, suggests ways forward for research and suggests ideas and areas that future scientists, archiologists and generations might explore and further confirm the ideas he puts forward. It really gives the book an extra something special and made me both misty-eyed imagining all possible scenarios – and desperate, not to say impatient, to find out more.

I can absolutely and thoroughly recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in the Viking period. I now want to find out more about their east-ward journeys into what is now Russia – a(nother) country named after them. Remarkable stuff.

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