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Viking Voyagesby Mette Friis-Mikkelsen
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The Vikings reached North America about AD 986. The Vikings probably brought timber back with them to Greenland, where they travelled from, but the scientists do not know for sure. Neither do they know how many times the Vikings travelled to America.
Norwegian Vikings settled in Iceland between AD 770 and 840. The Vikings exported fish, leather, and wool, from Iceland.
In Greenland, the Vikings could trade narwhale teeth, walrus ivory, skins, and fish. The Viking known as Gunnbjørn, discovered Greenland in AD 875. It was settled in AD 982 by Erik the Red and his crew.
The Vikings brought slaves, leather, textiles, wool, and fish, from Ireland.
The Vikings sailed down past Spain and into the Mediterranean. This means that the Vikings may also have sailed down the coast of West Africa. But there are no archaeological finds or written records to show this.
Vikings traded or plundered wine, honey, textiles, and wool, in the Anglo‐Saxon area.
In the Frankish areas, Vikings traded sword blades, glass, ceramics, jewellery, and wine.
The Vikings exported amber, wool, grain, and fish, from Denmark.
From Norway they exported slate, iron bars, tools, and soapstone. Soapstone was used to make vats, among other things. Further north, Vikings traded in skins and antlers.
The Vikings brought home walrus ivory, fish, fur, and skins, from areas around the White Sea (a southern inlet of the Barents Sea).
Vikings traded leather, skins, beeswax, honey, and slaves, along the Russian rivers.
Across the Black Sea, Vikings traded in wine and rock crystal (clear quartz).
The Vikings took gold, silver, copper, and silk, home with them from the territories around the Caspian Sea.
The small Viking longships could accommodate 15‐30 men, medium sized longships could take 30‐40 men, and the large ocean‐going longships could hold up to 80 men. The largest ships traveled, for example, to England. The Vikings probably didn’t sail their large longships down the Russian rivers. Besides longships there were cargo ships with a small crew of 10‐12 men, which could carry up to 60 tons of cargo over the open sea, for example, to Iceland and Greenland.
In Miklagård (Istanbul) the Vikings worked as hired hands for the ruling class and the Byzantine emperor.
Miklagård (Istanbul) was a trading center. Here the Vikings could, for example, trade in spices, silk, dyes for textiles, and fruit.
The Vikings called the city, which was situated where Istanbul is today, Miklagård, which means the big farm or city. Evidence that the Vikings were there includes graffiti runes in the Hagia Sophia church, which is now a mosque. The runes are illegible except for the name Halfdan
Source: Ph.d. Morten Ravn, The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark. Graphics by: Mette Friis-Mikkelsen
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