The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a grant of two million euros to geoscientist Michael Dee of the University of Groningen to support research on early European presence in the Americas. Dee, an associate professor of isotopic chronology, led a groundbreaking study that helped pinpoint a date that Viking explorers established a settlement at the northern tip of Canada’s island of Newfoundland. Dee’s research team, using a new type of dating technique, revealed that the settlement was occupied in 1021 AD, 471 years before the first voyage of Columbus.
According to Omroep OOG, the grant will enable the RUG scientist to look for more evidence of early transatlantic crossing and establish the length and impact of the Norse people’s occupation of the New World.
Michael Dee is the second Groningen scientist who has received funding from the ERC recently. Earlier, a grant of two million euros was awarded to professor Peter van der Meer of the University Medical Center Groningen to support his research on heart failure.