The Age of Vikings, for our purposes from approximately 700AD to close to the Millennium, represents nearly 300 years of continental turmoil, political readjustment, and regional economic clarification. The Vikings became a restless seafaring people owing no less to their geography and limited resources than to their innate ability as traders, warriors, and passionate explorers. They took to the seas and inland waterways of Europe and Russia in ships lovingly fashioned by the hands of artists no less so than by craftsmen. They fought, stole, and pillaged many lands; lands which eventually became their homes not so much by conquest but by cultural assimilation and a deep desire to live better lives in better places. Minus the advantages of high technology, the Viking homelands were unforgiving of bronze and iron age technologies which could not support large populations.
In our Hands-on-History 'Viking' workshop, we shall demonstrate many of these technologies and contrast and compare them to the relative levels of their continental brethren. Attired in full Viking Battle Dress, Lars Kenneson will demonstrate Viking battle techniques, metal working, construction styles, agricultural techniques and the fundamental 'clinker' ship building method. Students will study maps and demographic patterns of Viking migration and assimilation, coming to see the great impact Vikings had on European culture. As a teamwork exercise they will build an 18 foot cross section of a Viking war ship using the clinker construction method. Once the section is built they will play the role of archaeological investigators and map out the actual size of the full scale ship using what little information they have from a dig site.