Vinland, or Wineland , the name given a North American coastal region by early Norsemen who visited it about 1000 A.D. The name may refer to either wild grapes or grass. Many historians once identified Vinland with New England. But in the early 1960's remains of a Norse settlement of about 1000 A.D.—the first discovered in North America—were found at L'Anse aux Meadows on northern Newfoundland.
Accounts of Vinland appear in Norse sagas, or traditional tales; the best is in the Saga of Eric the Red. According to the sagas, Bjarni Herjulfsson sighted an unknown land in 986 while he was going from Iceland to Greenland. The land was first visited in 1000 by Leif Ericson. His brother Thorvald led an expedition to the site but was killed by Indians or Eskimos. A third voyage was made by Thorfinn Karlsefni, an Icelander, who tried to rediscover the site. He made a settlement of his own but was soon forced to abandon it.
An alleged 15th-century map (the "Vinland Map") showing Vinland where North America would be was made public in 1965. It has been a source of continuing controversy among scholars; some consider it authentic, others believe it is a forgery.