OTD: L’Anse aux Meadows added to UNESCO World Heritage List

On today’s date in 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland and Labrador a world heritage site after a three-day visit to the 1,000-year-old Norse colony.

Located in the Northern Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland, 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 10 years following skirmishes with Aboriginals.

The only known site established by Vikings in North America and the earliest evidence of European settlement, L’Anse aux Meadows was the first of 12 Canadian sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.


L’Anse aux Meadows was commemorated on a 46-cent stamp (Scott #1827a) issued by Canada Post as part of its Millennium Collection on Feb. 17, 2000.

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.

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