Monday, May 11, 2015

Haircombs and Vikings

Viking history is being rewritten to emphasize they liked to trade along with fighting, rape, rampage and murder.

Deer antlers were central to one of the key industries of the Viking Age: the manufacture of hair combs. Access to antler was fundamental to this specialist craft, and it may have been difficult for a professional combmaker to find sufficient quantities locally, so some form of organised supply network is likely.
yes, and the amber trade dates back to the bronze age.

this article notes they imported glass beads from ancient Eygpt too...

but this ignores the actual reason that the locals took up "viking". In the sagas, the men just up and decided to raid/pillage/work for another pirate sea king to get rich.

So there was apparently a change in culture that not only made such activity acceptable, but a change in the culture of Europe that led to weakened states where the locals were vulnerable to being taken over and used as slaves/ workers/obedient serfs.

Alfred the Great stopped them for awhile by fighting back and by making "burgs" or forts that let the locals sit out the attacks until the army could come and save them. And what finally slowed them down was that the locals got too good at fighting back, so they settled down and married local girls, got too old to fight, and turned Christian.

Until, of course, the next generation, but that is another story.

Lots of Vikings links here at (not work friendly) FR.

and remember: chose your weapons wisely.

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