Viking Body Art By Hannah Tyshing 8B

Body art was something that you wouldn't think the Vikings would have done, one type of body art that the Vikings did do were tattoos. There are many discussions on whether Vikings actually had tattoos or not and whether they were like the tattoos we have to day.

There isn't very much evidence to suggest that Vikings actually had tattoos except for one primary source. In 921 AD a Swedish writer named Ibn Fandlan, met with a group of Vikings who were called the Rus and they were Viking traders. Ibn Fandland mentioned that all of the Vikings he had traded with were tattooed from their finger tips to their chests. He was very sure that the tattoos were dark green trees.

However, this evidence is not the most reliable, this is because there was evidence and sights that told a different story about the Viking's tattoos. Because Vikings used wood ash to dye their skin it would have been more likely to be a dark blue colour. It was also very likely that the Vikings would of had a tattoo of their gripping beast.

Unfortunatly there wasn't very much evidence to suggest that the Vikings actually had tattoos. One historical fact that Vikings had tattoos was, a Scythian Chieftain was found in Siberia, who had been buried approximently in 500 B.C. The Scythian had been buried under permafrost, because of this his tattoos and skin stayed in tact. Knowing this information historians believed that the Vikings most likely would have learnt about tattoos from Scythian desendance. This explanation is very likely, because the Vikings were in the same area as the Scythian desendence. If Vikings were to have tattoos it was most likely that the tattoos would have been Norse designs and symbols.

Bibliography -


This website was Very useful, it also had lots of information and evidence to support the information. This website I found was very reliable, a good site for information on Viking tattoos.

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