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Additional resources for American Archaeology Uncovers the Vikings
The leader of the L’ Anse aux Meadows expedition, Leif the Lucky, probably was the first to live there with his crew. Six rooms were found inside this complex. A kitchen was in an annex on the west side. It was 11 feet (3 m) by 14 feet (4 m) in size, large enough to hold several people. It probably was used for butchering animals and brewing beer. The kitchen’s oven was constructed of stones set on edge, over which there would have been a covering of smaller stones. The occupants probably also used the oven to create steam for a sauna.
The slaves, women, and some men stayed at L’ Anse aux Meadows to hunt, fish, and gather plants to build up a food supply for the cold months. Nets were spread close to shore to catch fish before the bay froze over. The fish were dried on racks and stored away. 4-meter-long) central hearth built directly on the floor. An open fire, a cooking pit, and a pit where glowing embers could be kept alive for use in the morning were vital for cooking, light, and warmth. The soil at the L’ Anse aux Meadows site is very acidic, so food bones decay rapidly there.
The Norse often sat in hot, steamed-up rooms to relax, to talk, and to clean themselves. Next door was a storage room, most likely for food supplies, utensils, and items to be shipped back home. Boat repair occurred in a lean-to attached to the east side of Hall F. Of the more than eighty nail fragments found on the site, over half were located around this lean-to. The nails had been snipped off and thrown away. At other Viking sites, these kinds of nails are found only in places where boat and ship repair was ongoing.
American Archaeology Uncovers the Vikings by Lois Miner Huey