Thursday, December 03, 2009

Maine's mystery penny

Mental Floss Magazine's blog has an interesting post about 8 top Out-Of-Place Artifacts, which includes in the #1 spot Maine's own weird penny, a.k.a. The Goddard Penny. To quote the site:
The Maine Penny. So an archaeologist finds a silver coin while digging in Maine. No big deal, right? It is when the archaeological site was an old Native American settlement and the coin is found to be a piece of Norse currency dating from 1065-1080 AD. Although more than 30,000 pieces were recovered from the site, they were all Native American save for the coin.

There’s no evidence that the Vikings ever had a settlement there, however, and no evidence that they even came that far south in the interest of trade. The only Norse settlement ever found in North America is in Newfoundland. The strongest theory thus far suggests that Native Americans acquired it through their trades and travels. There’s no doubt that the coin itself is authentic, but how it ended up at the site is still in question – was it planted or did it really end up in Maine by honest means?

Click here to see a photo of the penny, and read about the other OOPArts: [Source]
More info on the penny can be found on the Wikipedia page devoted to its discussion (click here to ponder the penny further).

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