A vivid picture of the Vikings that draws on the latest discoveries and augments written evidence with fine archaeological detail.
Here is the complete story of the Vikings from their origins in Scandinavia during the early first millennium AD, through the incredible period of raiding, trading, and settling known as the Viking Age and the huge impact that the Vikings had on the course of European history, to the last surviving Viking settlements in fifteenth-century Greenland.
The book explores Viking life and culture in detail, from their costumes and appearance to their longhouses and towns, including Hedeby, York, and Dublin, and the extensive Viking pantheon. Viking warfare, targets, and tactics are analyzed, as are their weapons, crafts, and other artifacts—including their stunning pattern-welded swords, their helmets, and their hoards. The ship, the linchpin of the Viking world, is described and illustrated with numerous examples, among them Oseberg and Nydam. Box features complement the text, covering subjects as diverse as runes, navigation, silver hoards, and the sagas. 330 illustrations, 165 in color.
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Richard Hall is Director of Archaeology at York Archaeological Trust, England.From Publishers Weekly:
This densely packed, highly informative compilation provides a thorough overview of what is currently known about the Vikings, from both historical sources and archaeological research. Hall, the Director of Archaeology at the York Archaeological Trust, has extensive excavation experience, and uses that experience to discuss, among other sites, the Viking city of Jorvik (beneath present-day York, U.K.). He also delves into broader Viking research, providing, for instance, a comparative chronology charting the history of archaeological investigations into Viking areas of Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland and North America. This chart, located in the book's early pages, proves to be an indispensible reading guide, anchoring events in the broader history of the Viking Age. Illustrations include photos of artifacts, monuments and sites; both broad-scale and fine-scale maps; and diagrams illustrating details of Viking artistic style. A thorough index and guide to further reading make this volume a fine reference, though it could have used an equally thorough glossary. Exceptionally small print allows Hall to pack in a trove of information; while readers may have to reach for magnifying specs, the effort is fully repaid by this remarkably well-done survey of the Viking Age. 330 illustrations.
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