The second, smaller jasper piece was unearthed in the 1960s in excavations carried out by Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad, who discovered L'Anse aux Meadows. Different tests run on this piece suggested in 1999 that it also came from the Notre Dame Bay area. At the time Smith couldn't prove it was used as a fire starter, but now believes it likely is.
Exploring the New World Ever since the discovery of L'Anse aux Meadows nearly 50 years ago, archaeologists and historians have been trying to uncover the story of Norse exploration in the New World.
Previous research has revealed the presence of butternut seeds at L'Anse aux Meadows, indicating the Norse made a trip to the Gulf of St. Lawrence or possibly even a bit beyond. Additionally, Norse artifacts (and possibly a structure) have been discovered in the Canadian Arctic, indicating a trading relationship with the indigenous people there that might have lasted for centuries.
However, the Norse exploration outpost at L'Anse aux Meadows was in operation for no more than 10 to 25 years, archaeological evidence suggests. In fact, according to medieval Norse stories, the outpost may have been in use for just two to three years, and perhaps only seasonally, before being abandoned.