The Vikings did not write much about their history, but much has been discovered about them through exciting viking archaeological finds. Scientists and archaeologists have been able to determine the way that they lived, how they groomed themselves, where they traveled and much more through some of the most interesting artifacts.
Viking Treasure Links to Vikings to Other Civilizations
In a 3,000-year-old grave, archaeologists discovered buried treasure. The treasure consisted of several gold coins that were from another civilization, proving that the Vikings were linked to Samarkand. Discoveries like this one help us see where the Vikings were and who they traded with.
1,000 Year Old Viking Sword
In Iceland, a Viking sword was discovered that was still intact. The sword itself was found out in the open, but it’s believed to be a part of an undiscovered grave or settlement as there have not been any discoveries in the area. This Viking sword was in such excellent condition, especially for being exposed to the elements, that it proves what skilled craftsmen the Vikings truly were.
Viking Death House
Ancient graves discovered in Denmark have been dubbed the Viking Death House. This concrete building held approximately three graves, each with their own person or persons in them. In one grave a couple was buried together. Although other artifacts were not preserved, the remains of these individuals were.
Mysterious Graves in Sweden
The discovery of mysterious graves and a sacrificial alter helped to shed light on the beliefs of the Vikings. Archaeologists found over 150 artifacts in a single area, more than they have ever found in one place. Due to them surrounding the alter, most believe that these artifacts were left to appease a goddess.
Combs and Razors
Artifacts that were more than likely used as combs and razors have also been discovered. These findings shed light on the hygiene of the Vikings. When the monks declared them disgusting, this was interpreted to mean that they had poor hygiene. These discoveries helped people learn that this instead meant their character and that they were hygienic people.
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The Icelandic Sagas are one of the most well-known Viking discoveries. These sagas are sorted into five different sagas, each one covering a different time period. They are rich with Viking history. Stories tell of family lineage, giving historians accurate information as to who was related to who. Other sagas tell of history, detailing events, trials, and struggles of the new settlement in Iceland. There are also stories and traditions. These sagas have been more informative as to how the Vikings lived and their history than any other discovery.
Viking Burial Boat
In 2011, a Viking burial boat was discovered. Archeologists were excited to discover the remains of a boat and several artifacts that were still intact. They found a knife or dagger, a pin, a sword and several other artifacts that were in remarkable condition. Other things that were found have not been identified. The remains left int he boat signify that it was a burial boat. It is also believed that the person buried on the boat was of high status to receive such an honorable funeral, as this was often reserved for those of great importance. Because he was buried with a sword, he was more than likely a warrior.
The Roskilde 6 was one of the most intact Viking ships discovered, making it one of the most fascinating finds. The length of the ship was still intact, showing how long a Viking ship truly was instead of the rough estimate that previous discoveries revealed. They were also able to determine how wide the ship was, and how man sets of oars were used. This helped to estimate how many men the ship could hold. This is one of the largest Viking ships that has ever been found.
Viking City Artifacts
In Denmark, there lies a Viking city, complete with thousands of artifacts underneath the streets from the real-life Vikings. Artifacts from materials that made boats to beads, amulets, coins and much more have been discovered. These help to see how the Vikings lived when they were not at sea. The beads and amulets help identify Viking jewelry, too. There have been so many artifacts that help us learn more about the people that were mistakenly known for being savage monsters, such as the combs that show they combed their hair, and that they did not all have shaved heads as Hollywood would have many people believe.
There Is One Viking Helmet
Among all the burial sites, you would think there would be a plethora of helmets buried with warriors, but there is not. There is, however, one Viking helmet that managed to survive the years. It was discovered in a Gjermundbu burial mound. Plates of iron were carefully held together to form a helmet shape that we know today. There was also a piece that went around the eyes with holes for the eyes. A smaller slat of iron covered a small portion of the nose. There were not any horns on the helmet.
The Icelandic sagas mentioned a sunstone that helped the Vikings find the sun when visibility was low. It was thanks to tools like this that the Vikings were able to navigate navy fleets through any type of weather. It is now believed that the mysterious sunstone that many people talked about was actually a piece of Icelandic calcite, a stone that works similar to a prism, reflecting light so that the person viewing it can better tell where the light is coming from. This would make it much easier to determine the location of the sun. In the ruins of a wrecked ship, a piece of this was discovered among other tools used for navigation purposes.
The Vikings were mysterious people. They were able to build viking ships that were of superior craftsmanship than any others of the same era, they were savages on the battlefield and superior fathers on the homestead. Their lack of history only makes them more fascinating to learn about. These are just a few of the more interesting Viking artifacts that have given us clues as to how the Vikings lived.