Oct 15, 2012
The Maine Penny: an archaeological mystery
There was some evidence before this. In 1957, archaeologist Guy Mellgren was excavating a midden (trash heap) at a Native American site in Maine discovered this silver coin five inches below the surface. Coin experts determined it was minted in Norway between 1065 and 1080 AD. This set off a huge controversy. Some archaeologists even accused Mellgren of "seeding" the site in order to win fame.
Now that we know the Vikings did come to the New World, Mellgren has been vindicated. He hadn't found a Viking settlement, though. The site was purely Native American and now researchers believe the coin made its way south as a trade item. It's now in the the Maine State Museum.