The civilian relatives of the Sea Warriors

A real bone job

Ph nomen Wikinger Kai-Erik Ballak / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons) / Shadowgate / CC-by-sa 2.0
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Vikings are portrayed as brutal fellows, heavily armed warriors who raided their dragon boats and raided even large cities like Paris or London.

But by no means all the early Scandinavians belonged to these notorious hordes. But on the contrary. Most Vikings in the 8th to 11th centuries AD were simple peasants or merchants, some of whom even made their way to the Caucasus on their trading trips. However, little is known about these civilian relatives of the Sea Warriors.

Scientists like Gisela Grupe from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) are trying to change that. To correct the image of the Viking staring in arms, the anthropologists use state-of-the-art laboratory methods to analyze skeletal finds from Haithabu in Schleswig. In the meantime, they have not only succeeded in reconstructing the natural environment of the Viking city. The researchers have long since learned a lot about the "true" life of the settlers.

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Susanne Wedlich / "Insights - The Research Magazine" of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
As of: 09.03.2012