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  • How were the Viking villages?

    March 03, 2023 3 min read

    Viking villages

    When you think of Viking villages, what comes to mind? Can you imagine a bustling village surrounded by a fortress-like wall? Or perhaps a farming village hidden away in a remote corner of Europe?

    In reality, Viking villages varied greatly in size and structure, depending on their location, purpose, and the type of products they produced.

    As a result, many French villages today are steeped in Norse mythology; places such as Écaquelon (meaning "the house on this side"), Houlbec-près-le-Gros-Theil (literally translated as "holm oak near Gros Theil") and Dieppe ("deep port") have all unique stories within them that can be traced back centuries!

    Let's take a look at what the life of the Vikings was like and what their villages looked like.

    Farm Villages (Bygdes)

    The most common type of Viking village was called a "bygde". It was a small farming community of several dozen households, often built on cleared land near swamps, rivers and lakes. Bygdes were generally self-sufficient, meaning those who lived there could produce enough food to support themselves without having to rely on trade with other communities or foreign powers. Each household usually had its own piece of land to grow wheat, barley, oats and rye and to raise animals such as cows, sheep and pigs. The people of these communities also used nearby waterways for fishing when necessary.

    Town-villages (Tingstadir)

    The second type of Viking village was known as a "tingstadir" or "thingstead". These villages were larger than the bygdes but still relatively small compared to modern towns. Typically, tingstadir were made up of 40 to 200 hearths surrounding a large open space called a "thing carpenter" where people gathered for public meetings and events such as markets or fairs.

    These towns usually had one or two churches within their borders as well as an area set aside for cemeteries. They also served as administrative centers for local governments where justice could be served and disputes resolved between neighboring communities.

    Fortresses (Borgar)

    The last type of Viking village was called a "borgar" or fortified town. These settlements were built on high ground and defended by high stone or wooden walls, depending on their size and location. Borgars were often located near important trade routes to protect merchants from passing bandits. Some borgars also had a military function, such as protecting against enemy invasions or launching attacks against rival tribes in neighboring regions.

    Inside these fortresses there was usually a central hall where everyone gathered for parties and celebrations; however, there were generally no real dwellings within the walls, as most people lived in smaller houses outside the main gates, although there may be some exceptions depending on the size and purpose of each fortress city in question!

    what viking villages looked like

    Basic products made by Viking villagers

    The type of products made in Viking villages depended largely on the resources available in the area. In the coastal communities, for example, the villagers mainly focused on fishing and trading goods with other villages.

    On the farms, on the other hand, the villagers grew barley and wheat and raised livestock (sheep and cattle) for food production. In some areas where iron ore or timber resources are abundant, villagers focus on metalworking or carpentry trades, in order to produce tools or weapons for trade or defense.

    Rhythm of life in Viking villages

    Life in Viking villages revolved around two main activities, agriculture and trade, which usually took place at different times of the year. In spring and summer, when the weather was more conducive to agricultural activities such as planting crops or raising animals for meat production, the villagers devoted most of their time to agricultural activities.

    Then came autumn, when crops had been harvested and animals slaughtered to build up food reserves, during the winter months, when trade became more important due to increased demand from foreign markets. During this period, many villagers traveled to distant lands where they bartered goods with the locals for additional supplies or materials they needed back home.

    From bustling towns filled with traders from distant lands to peaceful farming communities nestled in places far removed from civilization, Viking villages were incredibly diverse places that offered something unique depending on their location and location. objective.

    Whether fishing off the coast or farming in the heart of the forests, the Vikings had immense respect for nature, which allowed them to take full advantage of its gifts while ensuring their subsistence thanks to a hard work and ingenuity for many centuries, right up to our modern day!

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