Skip to comments.The First Vikings
Posted on 06/18/2013 7:31:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
According to historians, the Viking Age began on June 8, A.D. 793, at an island monastery off the coast of northern England. A contemporary chronicle recorded the moment with a brief entry: "The ravages of heathen men miserably destroyed Gods church on Lindisfarne, with plunder and slaughter." ...In the centuries that followed, the Vikings' vessels carried them deep into Russia and as far south as Constantinople, Sicily, and possibly even North Africa. They organized flotillas capable of carrying warriors across vast distances, and terrorized the English, Irish, and French coasts with lightning-fast raids. Exploratory voyages to the west took them all the way to North America.
...our understanding of what led up to that June day on Lindisfarne is surprisingly shaky. A recent discovery on a remote Baltic island is beginning to change that. Two ships filled with slain warriors uncovered on the Estonian island of Saaremaa may help archaeologists and historians understand how the Vikings' warships evolved from short-range, rowed craft to sailing ships; where the first warriors came from; and how their battle tactics developed. "We all agree these burials are Scandinavian in origin," says Marge Konsa, an archaeologist at the University of Tartu. "This is our first taste of the Viking era."
Between them, the two boats contain the remains of dozens of men. Seven lay haphazardly in the smaller of the two boats, which was found first. Nearby, in the larger vessel, 33 men were buried in a neat pile, stacked like wood, together with their weapons and animals. The site seems to be a hastily arranged mass grave, the final resting place for Scandinavian warriors killed in an ill-fated raid on Saaremaa, or perhaps waylaid on a remote beach by rivals.
(Excerpt) Read more at archaeology.org ...
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I think that the first Vikings were Tarkenton and Tinglehoff.
At 10:38 in the morning. ;-)
Apparently, early on anyway, there were “no lands to the west.”
Who cares? Asterix and Obelix taught them the meaning of fear!
Fear gave them wings!
If they find a lot of beer bottles and shotgun shells, then it was probably an old family reunion of my family. Usually, there’s more than 40 dead, but they might have been friendlier back then.
June 8th, Julian or Gregorian?
Actually it was the least warlike of the Gaulish villagers, the bard Cacofonix, who managed to do that.
10:38, local or GMT?
Fran Tarkenton, of course.
Lindisfarne is less than 2° West of Greenwich, the solar time difference is about 6½ minutes. Clocks back then weren't that good. GMT close enough.
Thanks, that clears that up for me. ;-)
Reminds of the Far Side cartoon with a couple of Viking ships high & dry on the beach and a village pludered & burning in the back ground. The warrior Vikings were gathered around their boats and one folorn looking Viking. The caption was, Sven, the one who was in charge of the tide book, has something to say to all of us.
I bet he said they burned their own village.
Thanks for posting.
Once again I must set the record straight. The Vikings were only farmers out on a milk run. All this about raping and pillaging was just jealous talk from a bunch of jealous French girls!
The first true vikings!
Don’t listen to this if you have sensitive ears.
Thanks. These appear to be the remains of those who fell in battle, buried there by the victorious Viking survivors, rather than the victorious locals as the article said.
No, no, no, don’t listen to THIS if you have sensitive ears:
Or for even more of a Viking feel to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARnBgW5XgSo
Wow! What a fascinating find.
The piece is long but so well-written that I am glad I took the time to read the entire thing.
My respect for the patience of archaeologists was renewed yet again as I read of the work of “reconstructing” the boats based on the soil stains and the bits of metal.
I doubt if we ever really figure out the Vikings. very cool post, thanks.
Wow! Interesting diary of the site with a lot of forensic information, but no resolution of the actual history of the altercation and precisely who died.
I just love this stuff! Thank you for the post and ping, Mr. Civilizations. [smiles]
The guy on the left...is that Indiana Jones’ hat covering his groin?
I agree. If the locals had defeated the Vikings in battle, they would not have buried the raiders with this care, if they would have buried them at all.
Thanks for posting, this is a fascinating find. It appears Vikings were on the move well before the dates we have documented in the British Isles and Russia.
Is that the Rio Grande River?
Lol, I was just kidding...
The Vikings go back further than the 700’s.
Bingo! You get the prize!
That’s a nice story, but it’s based on nothing, whereas the Iliad is rooted in a real war that’s been substantiated by archaeology; the Odyssey on the other hand, was probably by a different author, maybe Samuel Butler’s woman.
In the French language version, his name was Assurancetourix.