Viking Expansion and Trade By Lachie Friedman, Terry Solomon, Riley McNaughton and Alex Cran

Viking Trade: Modern historians believe that the Vikings should probably be remembered for their trading as well as for their raiding and conquests. Viking merchants established a sprawling network of trade routes that stretched from Scandinavia to Iceland, Greenland, Britain and Ireland as well as other countries such as North Africa, Russia and the Middle East. Trading routes were also conducted throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The rivers of Germany and Russia provided the Vikings with trade routes into central Europe and the Baltic Sea. Viking merchants were able to achieve so much due to a combination of advanced shipbuilding, skilled navigation and a inquisitive adventurous spirit.

Viking Expansion/Trade (Iceland): The Norwegian "Ingolfur Arnarson" established established the first colony in Iceland in 874. According to the medival chronicler, Ari Thorgilsson and Arnarson vowed on building a settlement wherever they washed ashored. They both landed in a aby where today, the Icelandic capital of Reyjkavic is situated. Reyjkavic translates as 'bay of smokes', and is named for the geothermal activity in the area. Some of the exports from various regions during the Viking age were fish, animal fat, wool cloth, clothing, sulfur, falcons

Viking Expansion/Trade (Greenland): Greenland's southwest coast was colonised by Viking settlers around 996 when it was discovered by Eric the Red. The land was very poor for farming but sheep and cattle could be raised. During the 13th century, the population may have been as high as 5000, consisting of around 250 farms. As the years wore on, the climate changed, becoming colder. Crops failed and trade declined. By 1450 it had disappeared completely. Some of the exports from various regions during the Viking age were walrus ivory, furs, skins and wool.

Viking Expansion/Trade (North America): The Norwegian explorer Bjarni Herjolfsson first came across the North American continent around 985, when he was blown off course sailing to Greenland from Iceland. Expeditions from Greenland (the first led by Leif Eriksson) explored further, looking for timber to use fr building as Greenland had very few trees. Soon, settlers came from Greenland and established a colony called Vinland in what is today called Newfoundland in Canada. They began trading with Indigenous Americans, who they called "skraelings".


Created with images by necrocake - "drekar replicant" • Karen Roe - "RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014" • smaedli - "Viking Coastal Trading Ship Interior"

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