the vikings

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Viking age has long been associated with uncontrolled piracy, when bandits swarmed out of the northlands in their ships to burn and pillage their way across civilized Europe. During this period much progress was achieved in terms of Scandinavian art and craftsmanship, marine technology, exploration, and the development of commerce. It seems the Vikings did as much trading as they did raiding. The title "Viking" includes a wide description of Nordic people; Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians, who lived during a period of brisk Scandinavian expansion in the middle ages, from approximately
800 to 1100 AD. This name may be derived from the old Norse vik(bay or creek). These people came from what is now Denmark, Sweden, and
Norway, and had a self-sustaining, agricultural society, where farming and cattle breeding were supplemented by hunting, fishing, the extraction of iron and the quarrying of rock to make whetstones and cooking utensils; some goods, however, had to be traded; salt, for instance, which is a necessity for man and cattle alike, is an everyday item and thus would not have been imported from a greater distance than necessary, while luxury items could be brought in from farther south in Europe. Their chief export products were, iron, whetstones, and soapstone cooking pots, these were an essential contribution to a trade growth in the Viking age.

The contemporary references we have about the Vikings stem mainly from sources in western Europe who had bitter experiences with the invaders, so we're most likely presented with the worst side of the Vikings. Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of homesteads, farms, and marketplaces, where discarded or lost articles tell of a common everyday life. As the Viking period progressed, society changed; leading Chieftain families accumulated sufficient land and power to form the basis for kingdoms, and the first towns were founded.

These market places and towns were based on craftsmanship and trade. Even though the town dwelling Vikings kept cattle, farmed, and fished to meet their household needs, the towns probably depended on agricultural supplies from outlying areas. They also unfortunately did not pay as much attention to renovation and waste disposal as they did to town planning, as evidenced by the thick layers of waste around settlements. In contemporary time...

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...ted to keel and stem and these were bolted to each other with iron rivets.
This shell provided strength and flexibility, then, ribs were made from naturally curved trees were fitted and these provided additional strength. To increase flexibility, strafes and ribs were bound together. Lateral support came from cross supports at the waterline, and solid logs braced the mast.

Our main knowledge of Viking art comes from metal jewelry, the format of which is modest. The choice of motif is the same as with woodcarving. The artists were preoccupied with imaginary animals which were ornamentally carved, twisted and braided together in a tight asymmetric arabesque, their quality of work was superb. The Viking raids tapered off around the year 1000. By this time the Vikings had become Christian, which had a restrictive effect on their urge to plunder. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway had become separate kingdoms generally united under single monarchs. Wars wer now steered by the shifting alliances of the kings. The age of private battles was gone.
Trade relations that were established in the Viking period continued, and the Nordic countries emerged as part of a Christian Europe.

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