Viking Exploration Part 1 by Rob Shackleford

Viking Exploration Part 1 by Rob Shackleford The Vikings sailed from America in the west to Constantinople and Asia Minor in the east, and perhaps even farther. It was the seaworthiness of the Viking ships, together with the Norsemen’s knowledge of navigation and seamanship, which made it possible for them to conquer the ocean. The Vikings’ understanding of the sea is also reflected in the Old Norse language that has about 150 words for waves. As impressive as the Vikings’ accomplishments as raiders and warriors were, their accomplishments as explorers and settlers were equally magnificent. The Vikings ventured far from…
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Viking Ships 2 – by Rob Shackleford

Viking Ships 2 Without the Viking ships, there would be no Viking Age. Norse sagas, skaldic poems and contemporary foreign sources describe the Viking ships as marvellous at sea, being compared to dragons, birds and sea serpents. Viking ships were a technology far ahead of other ships of the time. They were seaworthy and could sail vast distances, while their shallow draft allowed them to navigate shallow rivers or estuaries, while they were able to be dragged onto a beach. When Magnus the Good (1047) put his ships to sea, it was as if a swarm of angels from the…
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Viking Ships 1 – by Rob Shackleford

Viking Ships 1 Think Vikings - think the dragon-headed Viking Long Ship The Viking ship are described by some scholars as perhaps the greatest technical and artistic achievement of the European dark ages. These fast ships had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water. Their unique structure, used in Scandinavia from the Viking Age throughout the Middle Ages, were a vital part of Viking society, not only as a means of transportation, but also for the prestige that it conferred on her owner and…
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Viking Foods 10 – Drinking Horns by Rob Shackleford

Drinking Horns Every medieval, Viking and mythical movie (like Game of Thrones) have all major actors using drinking horns to quaff their brew of choice. A drinking horn is the horn of a horned creature such as a cow, buffalo, etc, which is used as a drinking vessel. Drinking horns are a custom that is over 2000 years old, having been known from Classical Antiquity, especially in the Balkans. They remained in use for ceremonial purposes throughout the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period in some parts of Europe, notably in Germanic Europe and in the Caucasus. But here…
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Viking Foods 8 – Meals & Feasts by Rob Shackleford

Viking Foods 8 - Meals & Feasts by Rob Shackleford In discussing Viking foods, it’s important to consider when foods were eaten. Most Viking family meals were eaten in a common room of the longhouse. This meal was often either a stew served with bread or, in Iceland at least, skyr, a type of yoghurt, and cheese with bread. The Norse ate two meals a day: one, the dagveror (day meal) shortly after waking in the morning and the other, the nattveror (night meal), in the evening, roughly around 9:00 pm (21:00). The Vikings had bowls and plates very similar…
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Viking Foods – Fruits and Sweets by Rob Shackleford

Viking Foods - Fruits and Sweets by Rob Shackleford   When we say “fruit” – often we think of fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas and maybe pineapple. Yet none of these fruits were available to the Vikings! True, they had access to crab-apples, much harder than the apples that originated in Kazakhstan and were grown in China. Now, nearly 8000 varieties of apples have been identified around the world. Oranges are a hybrid of pomalo and mandarins, and were introduced into Europe by the Moorish invasions around the 10th Century. Vikings would have come into contact with oranges as…
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