L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada
The Norse were only one of several groups who lived at L’Anse aux
Meadows. Aboriginal peoples have used the site as far back as 6000 years ago,
probably because of its rich marine harvest, and its close proximity to
Labrador. The tools and campgrounds of as many as five or six distinct groups
have been identified at the site. Prominent among them are the Dorset Eskimo
who had their camps on the southern shore of the bay, more than two hundred
years before the Norse. Curiously enough, none were there during the century
of the Viking explorations.
The Norse did encounter aboriginal people in other parts of Vinland and also
to the north of L’Anse aux Meadows. The Norse called them skrælings.
Some believed that clashes with the skrælings discouraged the Norse from
making deeper inroads into Vinland and eventually forced them to return home.
Whatever the reason, the Norse did decide to stay closer to home and to
Europe where they could find all they needed, without requiring further
explorations of the New World.