Viking Research Links Available

This week, Aoife shares her annotated list of Viking links.

Hello all. This week's Links list is centered on Vikings. As usual, please feel free to forward this list wherever it will find a ready audience, and use it to update your own Links lists.



The Wonderful World of Viking Art
See pictures and read articles about Viking art.

Viking Runes and Runestones
(Site Excerpt) Like wrestling, swimming and fighting, writing was considered a special skill among the Vikings. The alphabet they used was invented by their ancient Scandinavian ancestors. According to legend, Odin, chief of the Norse gods, speared himself to a tree in an attempt to receive knowledge and learn the mysteries of the runes. He then passed this knowledge to his people.

Regia Anglorum: Viking Crafts: Leatherwork
(Site Excerpt) Unless you have very strong political views, just about everyone today still has some items made using leather. Over the ages it has been used for boots, clothing, shields, and armour, tents, bottles buckets and fire hoses. In the Saxon period it was even more widespread as they did not have any of the other flexible materials we have today, but despite these innovations, it is still in great demand for good shoes, saddles and harnesses, suitcases, handbags, wallets, upholstery and many other high-quality products. The characteristics of leather were just as important then as they are today; flexibility, strength and durability.

Elementary Themes: Viking Ships
(Site Excerpt) Vikings have become famous principally thanks to the long trips they made in their ingeniously constructed ships in which they visited four continents. Along Western European coasts and rivers they traveled to the Mediterranean Sea. Via Russian rivers they traveled to the Black Sea and Constantinople and to the Caspian Sea and further to Baghdad in Asia. They resided in Shetland and Orkney and crossed the Atlantic Sea to Iceland, Greenland and Canada, and maybe also made it as far south as along the present-day coast of the United States.

Making a Longbow by Simon C B Day
(Site Excerpt) Making a longbow is a fun and rewarding experience. Standing in amongst a row of archers with a fine bow, gives you an amazing feeling of "Aha - I made this". The following instructions are based on experienced gained during a Living History training weekend when I made a bow under the expert tuition of Colin Levick.(Note, lengthy instructions omitted in this blurb).

Hnefltafl by Simon C B Day
(Site Excerpt) One of the games enjoyed by people since the Viking age is Hnefatafl. The game is split into two sides, with one side acting the defender (white) and one side acting as the attacker (black). The objective of white is to let the king piece escape the field, while the objective for black is to stop them.

The Danelaw Village: Living history at York
(Site Excerpt) Danelaw Village is a recreated Dark Age village situated at the Yorkshire Farming Museum at Murton, York. Built during the past 9 years, in the main by volunteers, the village now consists of about twenty buildings ranging from dwellings to workshops.

Wool and stuff: Anglo-Saxon and Viking Cloth
(Site Excerpt) A question that is often asked of Regia members by members of the public is ``They wouldn't have had cloth that fine and soft would they?''. Well I have recently been doing a project on Anglo-Scandinavian cloth with particular reference to finds from York at the Archaeological Resource Centre there. This project has involved researching textiles not only from York but also from other Viking Age sites to enable me to draw parallels. I hope that the information I have accumulated will be of use to Regia members and others interested in this period.

Dark Age Crafts
A comprehensive list of crafts for Viking era crafters. Includes: Spinning, dyeing, weaving, tablet weaving, embroidery, shoe making, chain maille, wood carving and turning, cooking leatherwork and casting.

Nathan's Sources
Bibliography to an unknown work that is never the less quite thorough. Many Viking and Viking-craft related sources cited.

Midnight Wolf's Viking, Scottish and Celtic Links
A comprehensive set of links.

The Society of the Vikings based upon their religion
(Site Excerpt) One of the first gods we know something about in Sweden was called Nerthus. She appeared at a time when the climate changed in Sweden. The winters became longer and cooler and the people were afraid. They started to obey the sun and different gods who represented the sun. The god who became most popular was Nerthus, the goddess of the sun and fertility. The people worshiped Nerthus for a long time, but when they started to settle down and felt safer the Nerthus worship changed to the religion of the Asagods and the Vanes.

American Museum of Natural History: Viking Symposium, The Viking Saga, Viking Village Re-enactment
(Site Excerpt) The world of the Vikings has disappeared long ago, but their artistry and traditions live on in the study and reenactment of all aspects of Viking life. To celebrate these traditions and the opening of the exhibition, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga, we invite you to an authentic reenactment of a Viking Marketplace. Experience Viking life through workshops in stone cutting, woodcarving, weaving, and other crafts. Participate in storytelling, music, dances, children's games, and all things Viking. (Classes offered in 2002).

The Viking Ships
(Site Excerpt) How they sailed You not only need a good ship to be able to travel far. You also have to know how to navigate to find your way to your destination. The Vikings set sail in the morning when the wind and tide was right. All day they sailed along the coast. At nightfall they landed at some beach, put up tents, had a cooked meal and went to sleep. Next day they set sail when the.... and so on, until they reached their destination. This was the normal Viking sailing procedure. Some times, however, the Vikings sailed for days across open sea and some times, sailing along rivers, they had to take their ships ashore and haul them across land to pass waterfalls or take the ships from one river to another.

Digital Norseman Viking Ships and Replicas
(Site Excerpt) We know of some replicas built in the 19th century, but the majority have been built from about the 1950's and onwards. Denmark has probably built more replicas than anyone else, but the competition is increasing. Norway, Sweden and the US both have a number of ships sailing today and there are many more projects underway around the world, some as far away as Australia.

Viking Ship Plans
(Site Excerpt) (Photo)Captain Magnus Andersen's Viking of 1893: a replica of the Gokstad ship from Norway A commercial site for plan sales, but interesting none the less. Loads slowly.

PBS: Nordic Sagas: Viking Ships
(Site Excerpt) For nearly three centuries, Vikings sailed the rough oceans in their sleek, streamlined ships, traveling far from Scandinavia to distant lands where they built settlements. How they sailed to North America and other parts of the world has long been a mystery, but ships buried in the mud of Danish fjords are providing some answers. Frontiers joins archaeologists reconstructing ships that will sail on the same waters traveled by Viking ancestors so long ago. (Site Includes: Curriculum Links, Viking Ship Design, Activity: A Balance of Forces, Extensions, Why the Right Side of a Boat Is Called the Starboard Side)

The Briese-Bane Viking Ships Information Center
(Site Excerpt) There were "Swedish" and "Danish/Norwegian" Vikings. The Danish and Norwegian mostly sailed westwards, to Western Europe and England and Ireland and the associated islands. The Swedish mostly went eastwards, often dragging the boat overland, into modern-day Russia and further on to Byzantium and the Caliphate. The Normans are perhaps the best known descendents of the Vikings, and their descendents conquered England in 1066. There are strong links to the Irish and the Anglo-Saxons as well as other areas such as Iceland and Greenland. There is strong evidence that the Vikings reached the shores of the USA.

York Bridgemasters' Accounts

Fascinating glimpse of Viking elite's lifestyle

The Last Viking

Viking Navigation and Astronomy
(Site Excerpt) The Vikings were certainly more daring as seamen than others of their era. The magnetic compass was not invented until the 12th century; before then, most sailors would travel no more than three days out of sight of land. Small errors in judging direction, and the uncertainties of ocean currents, would accumulate over three days sailing to as much as twenty miles of navigation error.

Fr´┐Żel Gotlandica Viking Re-Enactment Society
(Site Excerpt) Few periods in history stimulate the imagination as much as the Viking era. Scandinavia, the British Isles, The Low Countries, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Greece, all the Mediterranean, the Black sea, Africa and even America were normal destinations for Viking longships.

Vikings and Saxons ( a retailer of actual artifacts)
(Site Excerpt) ...These were the Dark Ages, a period that fills us with romantic images, and a sense of mystery: the time of Arthurian legends, the Sutton Hoo burial and other treasure hoards, Viking longships and raiders, barrows like Beowulf's holding their secrets for finders centuries from now. If you have an interest in English history and don't enjoy looking at these objects, you may not have a pulse.

The World of the Viking
A site with links to many other sites and pages on the subject of Vikings.

Viking Heritage Magazine
(Site Excerpt) Viking Heritage Magazine will keep you updated about what is happening in the Viking world, both 1000 years ago and today! It is the ultimate forum for all interested in Vikings and the Viking Age!

National Museum of Denmark, York Archaeological Trust The World of the Vikings (A CD ROM for sale)

(Site Excerpt) Few people in England have heard of the Battle of Stamford Bridge, even though it was the last Viking battle on English soil and ended the Viking era of English history. The reason is that the Battle of Stamford Bridge is overshadowed in English history by the Battle of Hastings which occurred just three weeks later. The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is the one historical event that everyone in England knows.

Norse Mythology FAQ
(Site Excerpt) The Norse mythological system as we currently have it comes down to us mainly from the Icelandic Eddas and sagas which were written down a few centuries after the christianization of the north. There has been much research trying to discern the true ancient religion as practiced by the people of the Scandinavian countries as opposed to the representation we are given in the written sources.

Museums in Denmark

Viking Ship Museum
(Site Excerpt) The Viking Ship Museum houses the five original Viking ships excavated in Roskilde Fjord near Skuldelev. The ships are exhibited and their story is told with models, posters, and film in the Exhibition Hall, where changing special exhibitions also can be found`.

Borg Viking Museum
(Site Excerpt) Borg Viking Museum is the largest investment of its kind ever made in the Nortern part of Norway. The museum is a reconstruction of a Viking cheiftain's homestead. If you come here you get the oppertunity to walk around in an area which brings you more than a thousand years back in time.

Dark Ages (Viking) Forum