The historicity of the Vinland sagas has been widely discussed for more than a century and examined from a vast number of perspectives: as literature, history, geography, oral traditions, anthropological records, and validation of archaeological phenomena, as well as personal perceptions as travel guides to Norse landings in North America. The views have varied with the disciplines. While literary historians regard most of their content as fictional, historians have suggested greater validity, but found it difficult to distinguish the kernel of reality from later constructs. Dissecting the sagas according to modern folkloristic methods applied to oral traditions elsewhere, Gísli Sigurðsson suggested that it might be possible to get a grip on the historical core. I argue in this paper that the archaeological findings at L'Anse aux Meadows shed a new light on the sagas, indicating that, like the Íslendingabók of Ari the Wise, they contain more facts than is generally credited them.
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Vol. 2 • No. sp2