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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:58 PM

Rebirth of the Viking warship that may have helped Canute conquer the seas

Rebirth of the Viking warship that may have helped Canute conquer the seas

11th-century troop-carrier Roskilde 6 emerges from the depths of history and heads for British Museum

Maev Kennedy
The Guardian, Thursday 27 December 2012 13.00 EST

When the sleek, beautiful silhouette of Roskilde 6 appeared on the horizon, 1,000 years ago, it was very bad news. The ship was part of a fleet carrying an army of hungry, thirsty warriors, muscles toned by rowing and sailing across the North Sea; a war machine like nothing else in 11th-century Europe, its arrival meant disaster was imminent.

Now the ship's timbers are slowly drying out in giant steel tanks at the Danish national museum's conservation centre at Brede outside Copenhagen, and will soon again head across the North Sea to be a star attraction at an exhibition in the British Museum.

The largest Viking warship ever found, it was discovered by chance in 1996 at Roskilde. It is estimated that building it would have taken up to 30,000 hours of skilled work, plus the labour of felling trees and hauling materials. At just over 36 metres, it was four metres longer than Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose built 500 years later, and six metres longer than the Viking ship spectacularly recreated as Sea Stallion, which sailed from Scandinavia around Scotland to Dublin in 2007.

"This ship was a troop carrier," said Gareth Williams of the British Museum. It was built some time after 1025 when the oak trees were felled, and held 100 warriors taking turns on 39 pairs of oars if there was not enough wind to fill the square woollen sail. They would have been packed in tightly, sleeping as they could between the seats, with little room for supplies except a minimal amount of fresh water or ale or mead, which would not have gone stale as fast and dried salt mutton.

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/dec/27/viking-ship-roskilde-british-museum

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Reply Rebirth of the Viking warship that may have helped Canute conquer the seas (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2012 OP
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:03 PM

1. The viking ships were brilliant pieces of boatbuilding.

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