Recent discoveries made possible by advanced technology, like DNA studies and isotope analysis of textile fragments from Viking ship burials have brought to light the importance of cloth in the extensive conquests by the Vikings. In August, 2019 I visited two Viking ship museums in Norway and Denmark. I learned about the seafaring Vikings and was able to photograph some fascinating displays.
Centuries before Scandinavian farmers left their homeland to conquer and plunder throughout Europe, Central Asia and North America there was famine in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. It was theorized that this was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions that produced a great deal of ash in the atmosphere. This resulted in extreme cold (the little ice age) and famine. Desperate to survive, Vikings left Scandinavia by long wooden ships powered by a revolutionary discovery—the sail. It was the development of the cloth sail that made their voyages across oceans possible. Between about 700 to1100AD Viking warriors invaded and conquered lands far afield from their native land.
Viking women wove the square woolen sails for the ships.