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Home Boundless meetings Family and hierarchy Midgard 28: Meaningful drinking 29: Til – a Viking Age estate 30: Town-like trading centres emerged 31: Skiing Finns – the northern people 32: Ceramics from all around the world 33: Runes in everyday life 34: Surviving the winter 35: Dirty creatures or vain Norse people? 36: No moderation when dressing up 37: Only fragments and threads remain 38: House and home under lock and key 39: A wooden spoon for the soup 40: The longhouse – symbol of ownership 41: Dark – but warm and colourful 42: Demand for timber emptied the landscape 43: Food for the poor and the rich 44: Music for work, everyday life and feasts 45: Sacrifices – Viking home insurance Belief and traditions The living and the dead Divine craftwork Trading and raiding Waterways Town-like centres Christian monuments

Demand for timber emptied the landscape

To build houses and ships, to make sleds, wagons and tools large amounts of timber were required. Not to mention for heating and cooking. Huge amounts of charcoal were needed for the preparation of tar and for iron and steel casting.

The forest clearance was enormous in relation to the size of the population. The landscape in the populated areas became depleted, bare, treeless.

The life of most people centred around the farmstead. Daily life consisted of agriculture, taking care of cattle, hunting and fishing.

One of the most important tools on the farm was the ard. It was used to loosen up the earth so that the seeds could be placed in the soil. The dominant crop was barley, though wheat and oats were also grown.

The ard was a predecessor of the plough. Most were made of wood, often using a naturally curved, thick branch or root. Those who could afford, attached an iron share to the end of the ard which turned the soil. Since wood easily decomposes few wooden ards have been unearthed. However, iron shares are found more frequently.

Other important tools were scythes, sickles, knives and axes. Axes are often found in graves, while the others are common finds in farmland.

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Axe

  Axe

Axe

  Axe

Arrow head

  Arrow head

Iron ard

  Iron ard

Sickle

  Sickle

Shear

  Shear

Sickle

  Sickle

Fish hook

  Fish hook

Hook

  Hook

Fishing spear

  Fishing spear

Fish hook

  Fish hook

Scythe blade

  Scythe blade

Scythe blades

  Scythe blades

Harpoon

  Harpoon