If you don’t agree with us then we will send over some Viking discipline until you do! The Vikings are famous and infamous for so many things. They are legendary in a sense. The sunstone has mystified us for centuries. Not just the stuff of legend, the Viking ‘sunstone’ did exist.
The so-called sunstone has long been the subject of scientific intrigue after it was described in one Icelandic saga as a magical gem which, when held up to sky, would show the position of the sun even before sunrise or after sunset. This beats all the modern navigation tech that we now have. Google it, it’s mind blowing.
History books, films and TV series teach us that the Vikings were just wild men on the rampage – which of course they were. They were efficient at it. Modern day man is no different, except we call it imperialism….
They were also great farmers too. One thing that they were exceptional at, was sword making. They were using smelting techniques that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries. The Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made.
One thing which some of us tend to overlook, is the skill of their smiths, their gold and silver smiths. Their jewerly is absolutely beautiful, so good in fact that many companies and craftmen still produce replicas to this day. In the title of this piece “In our opinion! Some of the most beautiful Viking finds ever found…” was just us being a bit tongue in cheek, we haven’t included the major finds like the boats and major burial finds. But we have included the moulds for making silver pendants, as this, to us, shows mass production and also shows the ‘new’ religion of Christianity creeping into Viking society. Have a look below see what you think :-)
The Vikings explored the northern islands and coasts of the North Atlantic, ventured south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople, and the Middle East. They raided and pillaged, but also engaged in trade, settled wide-ranging colonies, and acted as mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Ericson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North America and set up short-lived settlements in present-day L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada.
Viking expansion into continental Europe was limited. Their realm was bordered by powerful cultures to the south. Early on it was the Saxons, who occupied Old Saxony, located in what is now Northern Germany. The Saxons were a fierce and powerful people and were often in conflict with the Vikings. To counter the Saxon aggression and solidify their own presence, the Danes constructed the huge defence fortification of Danevirke in and around Hedeby.
The Vikings soon witnessed the violent subduing of the Saxons by Charlemagne, in the thirty-year Saxon Wars in 772-804. The Saxon defeat resulted in their forced christening and the absorption of Old Saxony into the Carolingian Empire. Fear of the Franks led the Vikings to further expand Danevirke, and the defence constructions remained in use throughout the Viking Age and even up until 1864.
The south coast of the Baltic Sea was ruled by the Obotrites, a federation of Slavic tribes loyal to the Carolingians and later theFrankish empire. The Vikings – led by King Gudfred – destroyed the Obotrite city of Reric on the southern Baltic coast in 808 AD and transferred the merchants and traders to Hedeby. This secured their supremacy in the Baltic Sea, which remained throughout the Viking Age.