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Viking Ship Finds - Archeology

The Vikings did not only consider their ships merely as a means of transport, it is clear that ships also played a role in religious rituals.

People of high lineage in the Vikings World were often buried with their ships. This was first discovered with the excavation of some of Scandinavia's large burial mounds in the 19th century. It was the excavations which first revealed the grandeur and the perfection of the Viking ships.

The Oseberg Ship which was uncovered from a 9th century grave site is a unique vessel. The ship was uncovered in 1904-5 in Oseberg, Norway. The ship was absolutely a "royal yacht" which was intended to travel along the coasts and on inland waterways.

There is a significant site in Gokstad, Norway. The Gokstad ship was uncovered in 1880 and it truly is one on the most impressive finds from the Viking Age.

The great diversity of Viking Ships came to light in 1957 when a group of five ships were found by Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord, Denmark. The ships are called the Skuldelev Ships. Five Viking Ships were intentionally sunk in the fjord in the 11th century. The ships were sunk to form a blockade to bolster the nearby settlement’s defences. Two of the Skuldelev ships were clearly warships, while the others had specialized functions such as cargo-carrying, ferries or fishing boats.

Enough details were preserved with the Skuldelev ships to demonstrate the construction techniques used in making Viking ships, the types of wood used, the stages one would go through to build a Viking ship and the woodworking techniques used. It was also possible to assess how the masts had been fixed and thus deduce the approximate size and shape of the sails. Recent trials at sea with reconstructions of three of Skuldelev Ships have shown just how easy they were to operate with oars and under sail.

LastUpdate: 2015-04-10 11:52:00