For people living in cold, heavily wooded lands in northern Europe, owing an axe, and knowing how to use it, was pretty much essential. It is widely believed that one of the main reasons they became popular as a weapon was simply because pretty much everyone had one!
The Vadstena Bracteate is so called because it was discovered in Vadstena, Sweden in 1774 and is formed of a thin sheet of round gold (bracteate in Latin means a thin piece of metal). The treasure was found alongside a ring and a piece of gold sheet and was nearly melted down by a local goldsmith.
We know from interactions with our customers in store, and followers on our Social Media channels, that there are a wide variety of reasons why people are interested in Viking history and mythology. One thing that is pretty much guaranteed to generate comments and questions is anything we post that relates to The Runes.
A small number of 'super-strong' Viking swords have been uncovered that are forged of metal so pure that researchers are currently unable to explain how they were made with the technology believed to be available at the time. To add to the mystery, all of the weapons are inscribed with a single word - 'Ulfberht'
Vikings enjoyed fashion and the allure of precious metals and they strived to incorporate this into their day-to-day lives by crafting beautiful ornate jewelry. However, unlike most cultures, jewelry pieces in Viking culture typically had a dual purpose, being used both for aesthetic appeal and as a form of currency
Symbols played an important role in the Viking culture. From merely representing their faith, to calling on their gods for protection or instilling fear in their enemies, the Norse people used various symbols for different purposes. Here is a quick run down of the most important Viking and Norse symbols.