The Vikings invented the longboat during the Vikings Age from 800 to 1100 A.D. This type of ship helped them travel the oceans to reach France, England, Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Vinland and the Middle East. Thus, they became a dominant force in European medieval trade, politics and warfare.Know More
The reason why the longboat was considered technologically advanced at the time is because of its capability to move by using the oars or a rectangular sail. Therefore, when there's no wind to blow the sail, the ship can still travel using the oars. The longboat, which had a shallow draft, was also built to traverse not just oceans but rivers as well. This allowed the Vikings to pass through the rivers of Eastern Europe all the way to the Middle East to trade.
The Vikings also utilized their expertise in studying the position of the North Star and the sun to help them navigate the seas. There are stories that tell about the sunstone, which is a navigating tool the Vikings used to tell the position of the sun even with dense clouds or fog. It is believed that the sunstones were crystals that served as natural polarizing filters to locate the sun's position. The sunstone has been regarded as a myth until recently when a possible sunstone was discovered from a 1592 ship that sank off Alderney, the northernmost Channel Island.Learn more about Middle Ages
The Vikings typically relied upon fresh water from streams to drink during the day. They were also known to drink buttermilk and weak ale. During times of feast, the Vikings would drink beer or mead, which is an alcoholic beverage made of honey.Full Answer >
Vikings did not have reliable written maps or accurate tools such as compasses to help them on their seagoing voyages, but they were able to navigate using a system of narratives, climate and weather knowledge, landmarks, memory and chance. There is evidence that they may have used primitive tools such as sundials to help with aspects of navigation such as determining latitude, but this is more of a theory than a verified fact. Astronomical advantages such as the reliable position of the sun, moon and stars likely helped Vikings navigate around the northern Atlantic Ocean, but given how many Viking shipwrecks have been found over the years, it's safe to say that their seagoing missions were not always successful.Full Answer >
During the Viking Age, between the seventh and 11th centuries, Norse traders, raiders and colonists established a presence in countries as far apart as modern-day Canada and Iran. The Vikings emerged mostly from coastal communities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden to explore, and eventually settle in, most European and Mediterranean countries. They established colonies in North America and maintained a presence in Greenland that lasted nearly 500 years.Full Answer >
Vikings ate a wide and varied diet that consisted of an array of meats, including pork, elk, bear, reindeer, wild chicken, geese and fish. Although they once raised horses for food, Christian church doctrine forbade the practice and it was eventually abolished.Full Answer >