Sep 22, 2023Liked by Vikingology Podcast

I really enjoy listening to Ben. Just a comment re C.J.'s (only semi-serious, I suspect) reference to someone inventing a keel and heading off to sack a monastery in Britain... the Nydam pre-Viking (Iron Age) boat dated c. 310-320 had a keel and to my knowledge is currently the oldest preserved clinker-built deep-sea rowing boat. So the ship-building technology was in progress long before the first recorded raids on Portland and Lindisfarne (or even on Salme circa 700-750.

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Hi Kerry! Thanks for listening to the interview. We're glad you enjoyed it. We certainly did. I think maybe C.J. simply misspoke when he said keel, because he meant mast. You are correct about the construction of the much earlier Nydam boat, but the distinction between it and the ships of the Viking Age (8th century and later) was the use of a sail. Nydam was propelled by oars. Definitely, as you note, the shipbuilding technology was developing from much earlier than the Viking Age (note the Hjortspring boat that is about 600 years older than the Nydam), but it's the use of sails -- and very large ones at that -- that only begin in the 8th century that makes a big distinction regarding Viking Age ships. I mentioned in our class this week the Oseberg ship in Norway. It is the oldest finding of a sailing vessel in Scandinavia and it dates to c. 820. I'll be talking more about it in coming sessions, so stay tuned! ~Terri

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