How the ships of the adventures Vikings looked?

Excavations have made it possible for us to know how the Vikings built their ships. The fighting ships or longships were shallow, narrow in the beam and pointed at both ends. They had a single large, square sail, although they used oars as well, a high prow and a projecting stern. The figurehead of the ship of about A.D.800, understand at Oseberg, was a coiled snake with its head upreared. Another Viking ship, found at Gokstad, dates from about A.D.900.

Longships had about ten oars a side and seem to have carried twice as many men for fighting as for rowing, that would be a total of some sixty men.

The most famous of the longships was the ‘big dragon’ of King Canute, Built in A.D. 1004. It looked like a huge sea serpent, with a dragon’s head at the prow and a high-coiled tail at the stern.

The Viking hafskip had fewer rowers than the longship and was sometimes more than 21 metres long and 6 metres wide. On voyages of colonization it would carry wives, children, livestock, stores and as many as thirty men.

The naval power of the Vikings was greatly helped by their levy system which allowed them to call up men to form one of the greatest war fleets of their day.


Picture Credit : Google