Kevin Philbrook Smith

Kevin Philbrook Smith

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI

Deputy Director/Chief Curator

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Published on Jul 15, 2018

Heading out in a week! What do we hope to achieve?

One week from today Chris Wolff and I leave for Halifax to start work on L'Anse aux Meadows' lithic collections? What do we hope to achieve in just a week?We have three main goals for next week's w...

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Published on Jul 09, 2018

Ch, ch, ch, changes! (but forward!)

Scheduling conflicts and a minor health issue have required us to change the dates of our work at Parks Canada's Archaeology Laboratory, outside of Halifax, from late June to the end of July and to...

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Published on May 13, 2018

What was Vínland, Where Is It Mentioned, and Why Focus on L'Anse aux Meadows?

Vínland is the name that was given to one of three "lands" to the west of Greenland that were discovered by Viking Age Norse explorers from Iceland and Greenland around 1000 AD. These were parts of...

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Published on May 03, 2018

How can we identify a fire starter fragment?

L'Anse aux Meadows was occupied by First Nations groups before and after the short interval around 1000 AD when Viking Age Norse explorers used the site. For nearly 7,000 years, ancestral First Nat...

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Yeah, sorry about that! Now we'll all be charged for our pledges! Thanks, really. We're excited and very thankful for your support. Kevin and Michele
May 17, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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Yeah, sorry about that! Now we'll all be charged for our pledges! Thanks, really. We're excited and very thankful for your support. Kevin and Michele
May 17, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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Yeah, sorry about that! Now we'll all be charged for our pledges! Thanks, really. We're excited and very thankful for your support. Kevin and Michele
May 17, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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Thank you, and thanks for your support for the past 59 years!
May 13, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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I hope so, too!
May 05, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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Thanks, Darrell. We feel the same way about you. The only thing you didn't mention here is that we all met for the first time not just at that conference but...wait for it...wait for it....wait for it...L'Anse aux Meadows! A place I'd wanted to visit since I first read Helge Ingstad's books when I was 12-14 years old. Happy to be returning to the material from the site (if not getting to the site itself...at least not on this project). In no small way, it changed my life.
May 04, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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Hello, William. Many thanks for your note and your interest. The Kensington Rune Stone is a fascinating object with an interesting history and interpretive history. However, it's definitely not the earliest reference to Vínland. The Kensington stone's inscription suggests that it was carved in 1362, and Vínland actually appears in documents quite a bit earlier than this. The earliest reference to it, by name, comes from Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum (Deeds of the Bishops of Hamburg), which he wrote sometime between 1069 and his death in 1081. There he wrote, "Moreover, he [King Svein of Denmark] has also reported one island discovered by many in that ocean, which is called Vinland, for the reason that grapevines grow there by themselves, producing the best wine." Vínland also appears in the Greenlanders' Saga and the Saga of Eirik the Red, which were written in Iceland at some point between 1180 and 1300, more likely in the period 1220-1280. Best, Kevin Smith
Apr 09, 2018
Where Was Vínland? Tracking Viking Explorers in the Americas Using Trace Element Analyses
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