WELCOME BACK TO THE
MUSEUM AND PLEASE MIND YOUR HEAD (groan
! /*ouch */).
THE VIKING NAVY PAGE !
Twelve thousand years ago, human beings slowly made their way into
northwestern Europe, hunting the animals and gathering the plants
that began to occupy lands left bare by the melting glaciers of the
last ice age. For the next twelve millennia, the land and the
surrounding sea in what is now called Scandinavia would shape a
people who would eventually become known as the Vikings.
In the Viking
battles were merely land battles fought at sea, with the hulls
roped together to form vast floating platforms.
Years ago, archaeologists did not believe dragon prowled Viking
ships existed. They thought these ships, often mentioned in Viking
sagas and other historical writings, were as fictional as dragons
themselves. It was believed the people who fell prey to Viking raids
exaggerated their stories to make the Vikings appear worse than they
This belief in Vikings ships changed in 1880. A whole ship was
excavated in a burial mound on Gokstad farm in Sandar, Norway.
Although it was not the legendary longship or dragon
ship, the find
did dispel some of the doubts about the shipbuilding abilities of
the Vikings. By studying this ship and many others discovered since,
we have gained a better understanding of the design and construction
of Vikings ships and have a greater appreciation of the builders'
lean and above all flexible, the hulls were usually of oak planks
that had been split from felled trunks.
With axe and adze, the planks were trimmed to shape then
riveted together with iron nails.
At the junction of the planks, a thin rope of twisted animal
hair soaked in pitch (boiled pine tree sap) was trapped.
This acted as a flexible waterproofing membrane.
is important to understand that there were many different types of
ship. Each was designed
and built with a specific role in mind, although naturally any
vessel might well be used for duties for which it was never
There were the great Drakkars, the Dragon ships
that were over a hundred feet long and had crews of more than a
hundred men. Designed
for war, they were narrow and fast but not designed for weeks at sea
in the open ocean. The longest
Drakkar ever built was the Ormand Laang, the Long Serpent.
Measuring over one hundred and sixty feet in length, the bow and
stern posts would twist out of line by six feet in a heavy sea and
gave the ship its name.
There were Karvs, a sort of multi purpose ship that could trade
and/or raid and it is one of these ships that was found at the end
of the last century at Gokstad in Sweden. The find gave birth to many replicas, based upon this
well-preserved hull. In
the closing years of the nineteenth century, the first of these was
sailed across the Atlantic to the World’s Fair in Chicago.
I understand that the hull is still to be seen by the shore
of Lake Michigan and is itself one of the oldest ships on the North
The importance of the ship to the Scandinavians of a thousand
years ago cannot be overstated.
Truly, without them, there would have been no Viking age and
Europe would be a very different place today.
that concludes our journey this time ,hope to see you next
time AND PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE MIND YOUR HEAD .
HERE to See How much You have learnt.