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Norse Vikings Inventions

    The Saga

    • The Vikings were responsible for the creation of the saga. These long stories told of heroic deeds and preserved the history but also entertained. Some of the Viking sagas contain stories of adventures; others, of battles and conquests. Many Viking sagas also contain stories of ordinary people and family feuds.

    Ships

    • The Vikings were innovators in shipbuilding and made their own style of vessel. One distinct characteristic of a Viking ship is the hull. It was made of overlapping planks of wood that were held together by iron rivets to give both strength and flexibility to the ships. Viking ships were also pointed at both ends and left wide in the middle, allowing the ships to sail in shallow waters. Vikings also mounted a dragon's head at the ship's bow and stern to keep them safe from evil spirits.

    The Square Sail

    • The Vikings created the square sail, which was fitted to their ships. These were far more effective in catching the wind than the rectangular sails that were used at the time. The square sail, combined with the lightness of Viking ships, enabled them to travel quickly across the water.

    Metal Working

    • The Vikings created their own style of metalworking. Vikings worked metal for use in battle but also created their own forms of jewelry. What made Viking metalwork distinct was its quality and the intricacies of the work. Vikings often engraved items of jewelry and carved images of animals into their weapons and protective gear. Their artwork went onto inspire Celtic tribes.

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