Welcoming sign at L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The archeological site dates from about 1000 A.D. It is thought to be the first Norse holding in North America – predating Columbus’ arrival by five centuries. The site probably was ship repair station, serving Norse ships from Greenland, rather than a settlement. At the time, it was closer to the water and surrounded by trees. The site may only have been in use for about a century before being abandoned.