In 1957 a European silver coin dating to the eleventh century was discovered at a Native American archaeological site in the state of Maine in the United States. Many people believed the coin had been originally brought to North America by European explorers known as the Norse, who traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and came into contact with Native Americans almost a thousand years ago.
However, some archaeologists believe that the coin is not a genuine piece of historical evidence but a historical fake; they think that the coin was placed at the site recently by someone who wanted to mislead the public. There are three main reasons why some archaeologists believe that the coin is not genuine historical evidence.
Great Distance from Norse Settlements
First, the Native American site in Maine where the coin was discovered is located very far from other sites documenting a Norse presence in North America. Remains of Norse settlements have been discovered in far eastern Canada. The distance between the Maine site and the Norse settlements in Canada is more than a thousand kilometers, suggesting the coin has no real connection with the settlements.
No Other Coins Found
A second problem is that no other coins have been found at the Canadian sites that were inhabited by the Norse. This suggests that the Norse did not bring any silver coins with them to their North American settlements.
No Use for European Coins
Third, the Norse who traveled to North America would have understood that silver coins would most likely be useless to them. Silver coins may have been in wide use in Europe at the time, but the Norse, as experienced explorers, would have known that native North Americans did not recognize silver coins as money.