When the earliest  European explorers of the Americas in the 10th century arrived, did they have certain expectations about what they would find?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the absence of extensive written records, there is no way to determine what people were thinking or what they expected. Any attempt to read the minds of people who died over 1,200 years ago and did not leave detailed accounts of their actions is, at best, guesswork.

We do know that during the Middle Ages, various Norse peoples undertook long sea voyages, sometimes for the sake of conquest of territory (perhaps due to a shortage of farmland in Scandinavia), settling in areas remote from their homelands, sometimes in order to trade, and sometimes as raiders or war bands. One can probably assume that the exploration of the Americas was in search of either loot, trade, or farmland, and they expected to find one or more of those when they arrived.

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