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Re: viking runestone in Oklahoma

Rob has indeed added to the Canadian perspective and discussion on the
teaching of the discovery on North America. Perhaps what distresses me a
touch is the simplistic sound bite of information that individuals tend to
grasp on to when considering history without understanding the context of
history. Nothing is more poorly taught in Canadian schools than the
discovery of North America. We cover this in 30 minutes and move on. What
has been missed is such interesting aspects as geographical trade wind
influences, technology of sea faring and the nature of migratory movements
of people. When ones appreciates the contex of historical events they make a
lot more sense and both Henry Sinclair and Christopher Columbus fit into
patterns which are not all that astonishing while not in any way negating
their achievements.
Neil Sinclair
Toronto/PEI/ Argyll
-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Cohn <rob@eteast.com>
To: sinclair@mids.org <sinclair@mids.org>
Date: 24 August, 1999 4:54 AM
Subject: Re: viking runestone in Oklahoma

> I think the issue is that Lief was not the first...North American
>schools tend to teach that Columbus discovered America - even when they
>refer to Leif's voyages to America...
> The issue centres around "established" thought that Henry Sinclair
>could not have voyaged to Nova Scotia in 1398 because Columbus was the
>first in America and Champlain and de Monts in Nova Scotia...any
>evidence of other pre-Columbian European contact strengthens the
>possibility - mostly because the naysayers say that no-one made contact
>before Columbus...
> Now they are admitting that Leif did too - but no one else in
> There is no proof that Henry did not make the voyage but there is now
>much proof that the naysayers are wrong...it's an extremely minor
>victory...but it counts :)...
> The other issue would be that this runestone apparently pre-dates
>Lief...It also spawns responses such as Darwin's which indicate that
>Australian aboriginals beat Lief by millenia...then there was the recent
>posting about 3000 year old runes in Ontario (I have not had time to
>search the article yet...btw, could someone send me a url or fax a copy
>to 902 421 0080 please please please)...
> There's nothing wrong with believing what you were taught in
>school...but maybe what you were taught in Sweden is only slightly less
>incorrect than what we were taught in North America...
> This runestaone is more evidence that neither Columbus nor Lief
>"discovered" America...
> Personally, I don't think anyone discovered America...I think that it's
>always been here...I do a lot of sailing of old wooden schooners and
>boats aren't really all that complicated...
> And I wouldn't say that I am "amazed" by this article...I'm just
>extremely happy to have some more solid archeological (rather than
>speculative) evidence that my local government is as open-minded as the
>Inquisition or Stalin...it helps when I talk to them about these
> but another extremely minor victory I assure you...
> rob
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