Age - 9th - 12th Century
Discovered - Private Location
Vikings landed on America approximately 500 years before Christopher Columbus stepped onto the continent. Viking chief Leif Eriksson of Greenland made landfall on the Island of Newfoundland in the year 1,000 AD. Under his rule, Vikings settled in Newfoundland and discovered Labrador.
** The Vikings **
Vikings were the seafaring Norse people from southern Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden) who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe. They also voyaged as far as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, and North America. In the countries they raided and settled, the period is known as the Viking Age, and the term 'Viking' also commonly includes the inhabitants of the Norse homelands. The Vikings had a profound impact on the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Estonia, and Kievan Rus'.
Expert sailors and navigators aboard their characteristic longships, Vikings established Norse settlements and governments in the British Isles, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Normandy, the Baltic coast, and along the Dnieper and Volga trade routes in what is now European Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (where they were also known as Varangians). The Normans, Norse-Gaels, Rus' people, Faroese and Icelanders emerged from these Norse colonies. The Vikings also voyaged to Constantinople, Iran, and Arabia. They were the first Europeans to reach North America, briefly settling in Newfoundland (Vinland). While spreading Norse culture to foreign lands, they simultaneously brought home slaves, concubines and foreign cultural influences to Scandinavia, profoundly influencing the genetic and historical development of both. During the Viking Age the Norse homelands were gradually consolidated from smaller kingdoms into three larger kingdoms: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
** Vikings Weapons & Warfare **
Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them at all times. These arms indicated a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, mail shirt, and sword. However, swords were rarely used in battle, probably not sturdy enough for combat and most likely only used as symbolic or decorative items.
A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable" than melee weapons. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later of King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes that could split shields or metal helmets with ease.
The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion, focusing on Thor and Odin, the gods of war and death. In combat, it is believed that the Vikings sometimes engaged in a disordered style of frenetic, furious fighting known as berserkergang, leading them to be termed berserkers. Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops, and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, or large amounts of alcohol.
Viking Axe 9th - 12th Century
Smoky Mountain Relic Room offers a 30 return policy with proof of purchase.
-Limited Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee-
The Smoky Mountain Relic Room stands behind the items we sell with a limited lifetime guarantee. We will exchange any item for store credit if the item sold is found by a certified authenticator not to be the authentic artifact, fossil, meteorite, or mineral that we advertised it as being. A letter, specific to the artifact, fossil, meteorite, or mineral in question, from a certified authenticator (in the business under the occupation-specific to the item in question), must be brought in with the item for the return to be acceptable. This guarantee is for the lifetime of the initial purchaser only. See the Relic Room Manager, downstairs inside Smoky Mountain Knife Works, for more information. Original receipt required for exchanges.