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MacDonald, Lorraine, "The Picts," www. They escaped annihilation by the Romans by sailing away; they steered their ships north and away from the Roman Empire. The Kelts refused them entry into England and Ireland, but the Albans allowed them to settle in southern Scotland. The Albans had an ulterior motive, intending to use the Picts as a buffer against the Kelts. The confederation of Albans and Picts was joined by some Keltic tribes who had come to Scotland from Ireland, and who were called Scotti.

These new allies made up what became known as the Pictish Kingdom. The attacks were vicious, and the pillaging, burning and slaughtering that the Vikings practiced took a tremendous toll on their victims. As a result, by A. Some of the Cruithne Albans and Picts were able to flee to Iceland. Pytheus, a geographer, astronomer, and mathematician from the Greek colony of Massalia Marseilles , ran the Phoenician blockade at the Pillars of Hercules and visited Iceland Thule between and B. Pytheus found the island inhabited by a primitive people who lived on millet, herbs, fruit and roots and had little in the way of domestic animals.

There they fished, hunted and gathered. In when the Norse began arriving in Iceland, they found a Christian people had preceded them. The Norse considered these people to be Irish and MacDonald, Lorraine. Duncan, John. By the seventh century they had sailed west to Greenland to hunt for furs and ivory. It is a rectangular house with curving stone walls and no evidence of a roof, because the roof was made by an upturned boat.

Similar houses exist in the islands near Scotland today. They range from forty to eighty feet long and all have a length to width ratio of to 3. The Alban sailing vessels were characteristic.

Many of their vessels were small curraghs no longer than fourteen feet, but they also built larger ships over fifty feet in length. The Albans covered a wicker or wooden frame, not with planks, but with animal skins. They sealed the hull with tar made from walrus or seal oil.

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These vessels proved to be remarkably strong and reliable even on long voyages. When the Norse began invading Iceland in the ninth century, the Papar began to leave. They went first to Greenland and then to the western shores of Ungava Bay in northern Quebec where the remains of longhouses, stone beacons, and two ancient European type skulls reveal their former presence. Researchers have been surprised to find that Icelanders of today are also related to the Turks.

Jones, p. Pohl, Frederick J. Potter, New York, , p. In the Ungava Bay area the Albans commingled with a relatively unknown and now extinct people called the Tunit or Dorsets.

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When the climate changed and became colder, the Albans and the Tunit moved to Okak, Labrador, and to the St. The Tunit were well acquainted with Newfoundland and had begun living there intermittently before B. The forested lands of Labrador were known as Markland to the Norse.

Fig 6 The Norse found two separate population groups living on Newfoundland.

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In the west around St. The Inuit are the Eskimos of Greenland and eastern Canada. They described the Tunit as a people of large stature, who when attacked by the Inuit preferred to leave an area rather than fight. The Tunit were responsible for the artifacts archaeologists call the Dorset Culture.

They were talented and performed well done wooden carvings with metal utensils. They are thought to have invented the ice house igloo and the kayak. Farley Mowat, a Nova Scotian, has extensively studied the Alban people and is convinced that during their habitation in Labrador and Newfoundland, they received trading vessels from Europe. Trading vessels to the New World must have begun with the Phoenicians and later involved the Kelts and Basques of Iberia. By the time the Albans had reached Newfoundland, there are references Brown, Frederick N. Some ventured on to Greenland and Newfoundland.

Mowat estimates that these traders were relatively few in number, and he is convinced they kept their destinations secret. He postulates that in some years as many as three trading vessels visited the Albans, who welcomed them and traded furs and walrus tusks in exchange for metal utensils.

Within six years, most of those who survived the passage to Canada were dead

Depending on events in Europe, sometimes several years may have gone by with no traders making the long and dangerous trip. Ari was captured by natives there sometime between and Because he was Norse it was expected that he would be executed; but the natives presumably Alban who had been Christian since the seventh century found that Ari had been converted very recently to Christianity. For whatever reason, Ari was spared and treated amicably by his captors. He became a de facto Alban and was later baptized.

Footprints Across America: Retracing an Irishman's Journey During the Last Great Gold Rush (eBook)

Related to the story of Ari Marson is a report by an Icelandic merchant named Gudleif Gudlaugson who left Dublin late one summer about bound for Iceland and Greenland. He and his companions were blown far off course to the southwest where they at last sighted land. The landing is thought to have been at Conception Bay on the Avalon Peninsula of southeast Newfoundland, where stone beacons have been found indicating the presence of the Albans.

Gudleif and his companions were taken prisoner by the natives. Some wanted the Icelanders executed, and they were brought before a meeting.


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As the natives were arguing, a group of horsemen rode up. One of these appeared to be a chieftain. He was described as an old man with a head of white hair, tall and courageous looking. The old man spoke to the mariners in Icelandic; Gudleif then stepped forward and replied that he was from Iceland. Gudleif and the old man discussed some older inhabitants of Iceland whom the old man had known. Gudleif did not describe his captors as Skraelings as would be expected if they had been Beothuks. Mowat thinks they were Albans or a mixed breed who lived in the Conception Bay area.

The fact that they had horses leads credence to his opinion, as the Indians did not have horses until the Spanish arrived.