Viking Settlements


Read this description of a Viking town given by a traveling merchant.

… a very large town at the very far end of the world’s ocean. It has freshwater wells within the city. A feast was held in honor of their god when I was there. Any man who sacrifices an animal fastens it up on poles outside the door of his house. The town has little property or treasure. The inhabitants’ main food is fish, which is plentiful.

This town was in Denmark and was attacked and burned down by the king of Norway. Here’s a description of it by an observer.

Hedeby was burned in anger from end to end. It was a manly deed and one from which [the Vikings] will smart. High rose the flames from the houses when at dawn I stood on the stronghold’s arm.

The arm was probably a wall guarding the town. You can find Norway and Denmark on the map.

The houses near the stream all had wells. In Viking settlements, archaeologists have found evidence of weaving, glass making, making coins and pottery, melting iron, and weaving.

  1. Where do you think the Vikings got the animals, which they kept for meat?
  2. What types of things do you think archaeologists found that would make them develop that list of trades carried on in Viking settlements?
  3. What do observe about their houses (from the picture)?