We had a lecture about the Vikings. Their reputation looms large but their actual existence was a period of only 250 years 850 to 1000. They used runic letters and carved their presence in many places include the Hagia Sophia!

Using axes or blades the Vikings wanted to leave their mark wherever they went and the went all over the place reaching around the Iberian peninsula to the south and west as far as Canada.
Looking good was important.
Found and preserved as found in the local museum the Viking boat looks almost frail. However the wide berth and shallow draft allowed great stability even in heavy seas. For me when I look at it I wonder how they managed to row, sleep and eat as they crossed the seas to Iceland, Greenland and further. One of the things we learned was that men were sleeping under the deck while the same number were downing. The boat never stopped until they reached a necessary destination. A model built in one of the museums showed how it worked.
Each bench held two towers operating one oar. The boards in the middle could be raised using a finger hole in the board the allow the person to get under to sleep. You were either sleeping or rowing.
Construction technique
Tools were iron and simplest and most wide spread was the ax with a wooden handle. The sword required more skill to make as well as more skill to keep sharp.
Red color was difficult to make and eye catching and became the color used by royalty. When crew could be standing because of.calm waters or no need for speed they wore dice the rowers on deck.
Using the same construction techniques the stave churches were built, but upside down. This is looking up at the stave church we saw last week.

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On the planet in California

One thought on “Vikings”

  1. Thank you for that fabulously interesting account of the clinker building. I knew it was called clinker-built for boats but not understood the context. May you be well indeed!


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