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.

The declaration followed a three-day visit by UNESCO officials to the 1,000-year-old Norse colony, which is located in the Northern Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland.

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. It was abandoned in about 10 years following skirmishes with local Indigenous communities.

First excavated in 1960 by Norwegian archaeologists Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad, L’Anse aux Meadows was also excavated by Parks Canada during the 1970s.

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 Tullis Russell coated paper, the stamps have general tagging along each side.

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