On African colonisations of the Americas: certainly there is the lore of the Moorish colonisations of New Jersey, but beyond this there is some anomolous (spelling?) campfire evidence in South America, and lots and lots of "Negroid" head statues from the Columbia River basin area to the furthest reaches of Central America, and Native American lore. Then there are the various "Black Indians" from the Mardi Gras Indians to the Creeks in Florida, and no real evidence the blacks in these groups were runaway slaves.
I must confess I `m biased here with all the Däniken- ethnology that `s going on on that. So many quacks are trodding that field it `s hard to be serious. Reading this stuff one sometimes gets the impression of Atlantic crossings as leisurly weekend trips for the family.
„Oh crap, we forgot Kevin!“
Don `t worry dear. We `ll pick him up next time. Meanwhile our nice Phoenicean neighbours will look after him.“
Regarding any kind of native American art, I don `t understand it, so I don `t dare judge what the artist himself wanted to express when crafting a thing that to a modern European looks like an African face. Same goes for any kind of folklore. Speaking of Vikings, you could also find hints for Moores in the old north if you just want to. Names like „Flatnose“ or „The Black Halfdane“ are quite suggestive to the decided. You could also do some amateurish etymology on Berserkers and Serkland and abrakadabra – there they are: Sarrazenes in King Haralds entourage!
Just as an impromtu parallalel.
What makes the thing so uncredible for me is the simple fact, that there is no known African civilization with the necessary naval abilities and the recources to establish and maintain a big enough colony to make an impact . I am ready to accept the concept of Abu Bakr like expeditions, maybe even successful ones. People are curious, everywhere and it `s only logical that enventually some guys would gather on whatever vessels they have at hand to try to find out what lies behind the horizon. But think of the expenses the British had to make until their American colonies got over the point of selfsustainability.
On tools: certainly convergent evolution in tool-making is a distinct possibility, as is the possibility that tools acquired over vast distances via trade could inspire the new owners to emulate the technique, which is also true of abandoned and rediscovered tool kits. Just sayin.
I think we can rule out trade here. Tracing the origin of a piece of stone is not such a big thing and if there were ancient tools made of European material discovered in America, the news would be full of them.
On the Norse in North America: the sagas provide some very specific information on the material technology of the "Skraeling" culture encountered during subsequent voyages of discovery, timber expeditions and colonisation efforts. One thing they had was exploding skin bags, according to the sagas. Inflating seal skins is a very Eskimo thing, whether Dorset or Inuit. Snorri did write long after the fact, but his sagas seem fairly reliable
That `s good enough prove that the events described were not just invented, but who ever wrote them down centuries later may not have been sure were exactly what event took place. Speaking in Saga terminology, Dorset people were home to Hellunland and Markland. By Columbus time they had in fact been replaced by the Thule culture, which also spread across Greenland. Most probably this was due to the climate change. Vinland population however remained quite stable, so Newfoundland/Newengland travelling Vikings would certainly not have encountered any Eskimo like people so far south. Not even Snorri (how do you tie him to the Vinland texts anyway?)was a historian in the modern sense and had evaluated his sources as one would do today. Even the very concept of „truth“ has to be a different one for a medieval christian scholar.
Remember how Grönlendinga Saga describes what seems like a Christian procession among American natives.
My own opinion is that the Greenlandic Norse didn't go extinct and their fate is fairly prosaic, they simply assimilated to Inuit populations in Greenland and Arctic Canada as Europe grew distant, first because of the plague, and then because of the worsening climate and lack of communication, or interest, for that matter, on the part of Europeans.
Some surely will have done that. Ivar Barðarsson `s report on the end of Vestrybygð points into that direction. That would also be a good terminus ante quem for any Vinland travels of the Norse Greenlanders.
Making up Vinland hoaxes seems to be as much fun as crafting big footprints. Maybe that could serve as an inspiration for Bob: Make your own Kensington Stone.
The Maine Penny itself however is genuine but the circumstances of the find are doubtworthy. It wasn `t dug out by professionals but presentet to the Maine State Museum in the 1970ies by a guy who claimed to have found it on a knwon archaeologigal site on Penobscot Bay which was an Indian trading point in the 12/13th century.
Similar goes for almost all of the strey Viking artifacts in North America except for L Anse aux Medaux. Nothing definitive so far. The American originated finds in Greenland are much more clear for that matter. Altogether it adds to frequent visits (mainly wood and ore gathering) for about three centuries but no settlement.
Canadian archaeologist Patricia Sutherland however did some amazing field work in the Arctic region which might change our view on Norse-Dorset contacts in medieval times. Still due to proper publication as far as I know and highly ontroversial.
If I were a believer of any kind I would so pray for the descovery of some lasting Norse settlement in the Americas.