22 May 2015

Reindeer Comb May Change Dating of Viking Age

, ,



Vikings have made the headlines this week across the globe after a surprising announcement from scholars at the University of York, in the U.K. Researchers claim they have found evidence that the Viking Age may have begun long before the academically accepted date of 793—the sack of Lindisfarne. According to researchers, they have found deer antlers fashioned into various tools, most notably a comb, which date to as early as 725 A.D. These artifacts were uncovered in the port town of Ribe, in Denmark, and indicate strong trade ties between the Danes and the Norwegians far earlier than previously thought. …

technicalities aside, the news of the finds in Ribe are of course tremendously exciting for scholars in the field of Scandinavian studies. The finds raise more questions than they answer, but at least we have now confirmed what scholars have theorized for several decades: the Vikings were traveling the world as merchants long before they began to raid. This reinforces several leading theories on why the Viking Age began. Traditionally, scholars blamed a rising population and a changing climate for the exodus of the young male population from the North. However, competing theories have suggested that the massacre on the Elbe (read about it HERE) and the closing of ports to non-Christians by Charlemagne may have contributed to the increasing violence carried out by the Vikings. If they had been trading with the South as early as 725, it now stands to reason that the Danes and Norwegians had grown dependent on foreign trade for much of their livelihood, and closing off trade would have brought about immediate economic woes and later…very well known history.


Please Leave a Comment!

Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark