On today’s date in 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added L’Anse aux Meadows, Nfld., to the World Heritage List after a three-day visit to the 1000-year-old Norse colony.
On Feb. 17, 2000, as part of the Millennium Collection, Canada Post commemorated L’Anse aux Meadows on a 46-cent stamp (Scott #1827a). Issued as part of a souvenir sheet of four commemorating “Canada’s Cultural Fabric” (SC #1827), the stamp was joined by Nova Scotia’s Pier 21 (SC #1827b) and Neptune Theatre (SC #1827c) as well as Ontario’s Stratford Festival (SC #1827d). Printed by Ashton-Potter Canada on Tulliss Russell coated paper, the stamp has general tagging along each side.
The Millenium souvenir sheet issued in February 2000 continued to honour the diverse range of Canadian people, events and institutions that helped shape the nation.
Located on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula, L’Anse aux Meadows was first excavated in 1960 by Norwegian archaeologists Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad. During the 1970s, Parks Canada also led an excavation. It was the first known European settlement in the Americas south of Greenland and consisted of eight sod and timber buildings as well as many Norse artifacts. The settlement was abandoned in about a decade after skirmishes with Aboriginals.
It was the first of 12 Canadian sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.