Monday, 8 December 2014

Episode 1 Viking Ages

There was no such thing as ”Sweden” during the Viking Ages (800-1050). Still – I’ll start the blog on Swedish history here since it is a wellknown period with good tales.
In this episode I mention the eastern expedition led by Ingvar Vittfarne (”the traveller”) and the runic stones commemorating members of this unfortunate adventure. The most famous is the ”Gripsholm stone”, found within the much later Gripsholm castle and later placed outside – thus not in the original place.

200px-SÖ179_Gripsholm_Runestone Tóla had this stone raised in memory of her son Haraldr, Ingvar's brother.
They travelled manly far for gold, and in the east gave food to the eagle.
They died in the south, in Serkland. 

Of course people lived in what later became Sweden long before the Viking Age, for as long at it was at all possible to make a living after the glacial period. That though is however periods that you have to be an archaeologist to work with. Historians work with written source material – and that is rare stuff on our part of the world even in the Viking Ages. But archaeology is also fascinating.
And I can’t resist sharing a short film (and cry for funding) from the county museum in Kalmar about an Iron age finding on the island of Öland: the Sandbyborg massacre