Travel results in encounter– between peoples, places and/or things– often for the first time. These new experiences form our views of the world and of the people and cultures that inhabit it. Travelers in the pre-modern era described the new worlds they saw in colorful terms, often relating their experiences to similar things in their own worlds.
One of the goals of this site is to use technology to allow visitors to experience the travel worlds along with our pre-modern travelers. Ultimately, our models will include encounters between travelers and others along the route to the Americas.
Brendan of Clonfort (St. Brendan) and his fictionalized travels provide one sort of encounter, as Brendan meets denizens of Paradise and Hell, along with other curious and marvelous figures on his 7 year voyage.
In the L’Anse aux Meadows project, we also imagine encounters between Vikings and ancestors of the Innu in Newfoundland.
Subsequent projects will also focus largely on the possibilities and perils of encounter.