Cosmic Ray Event Shows Viking Landing in Canada

The material Dee and her colleagues learned, acquired from L’Anse aux Meadows a few decades ago and carefully stored in a refrigerator at Parks Canada Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, fits the cost perfectly. They include a tree stump that was probably uprooted when the Viking area around it was removed, and, arguably, still had an immovable “bark”. Since there were 28 rings from the carbon-spike ring to the edge, the cut of the tree can be linked to AD 1021. (The fact that this is exactly 1,000 years ago is a coincidence, although accepted, Dee says.)

A team of Dutch, German, and Canadian scientists, led by Dee and his Groningen colleague Margot Kuitems, published learning inside Nature October 20. One of the authors is Birgitta Wallace, a Canadian archaeologist who has been working on the site since the 1960’s. wood used in the study. “Most people would probably just walk away. But he saw that one day science could use it, and put it in the fridge to keep it safe for 40 years, “he says.

“It’s a very good paper – it puts wood very well,” says Timothy Jull, a radiocarbon radiologist at the University of Arizona, who has not participated in a recent study. Initially, training work kutuloji-the science that determines the age of a tree from the growth of the number inscribed in its rings – requires a comparison of multiple trees, in order to be able to test a new model and come up with (often difficult) comparisons of its size. “But in this case, they didn’t have to do this, because they have a cable that tells them exactly where they are [in the timeline]. That’s what makes it such a great lesson, “says Jull.

Scientists have long believed that tiny particles made up of the sun and other celestial bodies such as supernovas reach Earth on an unstable river. This means that the amount of carbon-14 and its stable constituents may not change over time. But in 2012, a Japanese scientist, Fusa Miyake, discovered trees with a carbon-14 spike from AD 774 to 775. Scientists now believe that there have been fewer electrical explosions in the last 10,000 years.

Because these scenarios are so rare, researchers like Dee and his colleagues can be confident that they’re not just looking at carbon-14 noise indiscriminately, but something else — which means they can have confidence in the date they’ve agreed to. These spikes, meanwhile, can be used to describe other historical events. (The same method was also used recently to determine the date on which the ancient church in Switzerland was built, based on a survey of its timber.)

Remains of a Viking house at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site in Newfoundland.

Photo: Dan Falk

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