Science: Bye, Columbus

Did the Vikings arrive first?

In Calvin Trillin's 1977 comic novel Runestruck, the fictitious Maine coastal town of Berryville goes crazy when a stone with inscriptions that seem to be Nordic is unearthed there. Some townspeople want to cash in on the bonanza by doing such things as building a theme park and holding a festival. Others seek, in vain, to avoid exploitation. Chaos reigns as the citizens realize that Berryville is likely to become a national shrine: the site of the first Viking settlement in America. Last week real events in a...

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