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Articles about the Vikings & logs
Just visited the "Time Magazine" website that has many links to other Viking
articles. This has already been reported on this discussion place but here
is the address again:
I found this an interesting statement:
"Most important, though, they made the finest ships of the age. Thanks to
several Viking boats disinterred from burial mounds in Norway,
archaeologists know beyond a doubt that the wooden craft were
"unbelievable--the best in Europe by far," according to William Fitzhugh,
director of the National Museum's Arctic Studies Center and the exhibition's
chief curator. Sleek and streamlined, powered by both sails and oars, quick
and highly maneuverable, the boats could operate equally well in shallow
waterways and on the open seas."
In the book "The Land and People of Finland" by Erick Berry it says pag.
"There is a record in Norwegian history of the 'Sea-Finns". This group,
carpenters and shipwrights, came to settle, or at least to work for part of
the year, along the Norwegian fjords, then thickly forested. They were
specialized craftsmen, living entirely by their shipbuildng. Even as early
as the Viking days these Sea-Finns never went to sea, but were hired for
their skill on dry land; and were especially valuable to the Norse Vikings
at a time when looting and plundering of monasteries along the Irish and
English coasts were of far more profit than the building of ships. Hiring
carpenters to build the longboats saved valuable time."
Which brings up another question I have had: This passage about the Finns
says that the Norwegian coast was "thickly forested". Eventually, it seems
these forests were used up and then logs were brought from North America.
The book "A Dance Called America" tells how the English loaded the logs
on the decks and in the holds of the derelict sailing ships and brought
them to Europe. Could the Knorrs of that day have held such logs? I can't
imagine log rafts as we see here in Oregon used in the North Atlantic. They
would break apart and they didn't have powerful tugs to tow them.
These big logs are terribly dangerous even in a calm river but on the
high seas they could become deadly to any small viking ship nearby. I just
can't picture how this was done???
These are the burning questions that keep me awake at night. ha
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