Did The Viking Settlement At Norumbega Actually Exist?

In the last few years, there has been a serious rise in the popularity of Viking-themed television shows and movies. From History Channel's "Vikings" series to blockbuster Marvel films like "Thor: Ragnarok," it seems like the world can't get enough of Viking culture. While it seems that Norse culture is pretty far removed from anyone who is not anywhere near Scandinavia, it turns out there might be a bit of Viking history closer to you than you might think. Many assume these seafarers ended up mostly in the British Isles. But according to History, they actually reached various parts of mainland Europe, colonized Iceland and Greenland, and may have actually been the first Europeans in North America.

One of the most legendary of these supposed Viking settlements in North America is called Norumbega. In Norse tradition, this place was located in what they called "Vinland" (aka North America) and was reportedly full of riches. Supposedly, it was a city of gold, similar to El Dorado, the mythical golden city in South America. However, Viking maps from the 1500s did document where this location was supposed to be — somewhere around what today we know as New England.

Is it just a myth?

According to Ancient Pages, people really became curious about this fantastical settlement when a 16th-century sailor named David Ingram claimed to have walked all the way across North America, from Mexico to Canada. On his journey, he reportedly stumbled upon this extremely wealthy kingdom, which also happened to have kind and compassionate people who inhabited it. Many did not believe him, because of course, all subsequent travel through the area never revealed a settlement like Ingram described.

So the real question is, did this Viking city ever exist? Despite enduring tales of this amazing place, there is no actual physical evidence that shows it ever existed. Though maps depict where this place is supposed to be, there is contradictory evidence as to where in North America Vinland actually was. While the archeological evidence does not support that Norumbega existed, there is one confirmed Viking settlement in North America known as L'Anse aux Meadows.