The Long Ships Viking Ship Project

and their seafarers -
The Norsemen / The Vikings.


Danmark/Denmark

Norge/Norway

Sverige/Sweden

Iceland

Orkney

Shetland

Hebrides

Man

There are many web-sites about the Vikings, their ships, and their effect on lands such as England, Scotland, Ireland, France. Europe as a whole. The founding of settlements in Iceland, then Greenland and even North America and possibly beyond.

Just how far beyond? West coast Canadian Indians talked of fair blue eyed seaborne warriors in boats with white wings having entered the Northern Pacific from the Bering Strait. Did they use the north west passage that Cabot sought so eagerly? Was it ice free when the Vikings settled Greenland? The Vikings did call the Arctic ocean, "the Middle sea" (middle between Pacific and Atlantic?). Did Viking trading or longships really deposit banished Celts from Scotland in New Zealand in the 10th century? Did they return again when requested to check if there were surviviors after 7+1 generations? What of the records that confirm this return voyage was successful and some of the young men, descendants of the banished, returned to Scotland with the Vikings? Did some of these actually return to New Zealand with wives? Some modern Scots claim descent from those that remained in Scotland. Where did these particular Vikings come from? The Isle of Man, the Orkneys, or Sheltand, or Norway? Or some other Viking haven? What version of Viking long ship did they use? What was their route?

These are questions that are raised by a tauntingly few but strange archaeological artifacts, myths and stories. But items like these are cast aside with derision by rigid preconceptions held by skeptic orthodox historians and archaeologists. Similar styled experts previously cast derision and doubt upon the existence of the large seagoing Viking Dragon ships. Tales abounded in sagas of the feats, speed and predations of such ships. But until one was found in Roskilde harbour in Denmark the skeptics reasoning was believed over the writings and sagas. Ironic that the only known example of such a magnificent ship was found during excavations for extending a Viking Ship Museum! And suddenly the veracity of the old sagas and writings is proven acceptable.

The truth is stranger than fiction. What some experts would try and have you believe is fiction and untrue, possibly was and is the truth! Just how far did these seafarers really go? Many men and women have sailed the around the world in sailing vessels in modern times. Some single handed. The seaworthiness of the modern yacht is undoubtedly little better than that of a Viking ship under the command of expert seafarers. As modern boatmen become more familiar with the handling capabilities of modern Viking ships, more respect of the technical knowledge of the ancient seafarer, boat builder, designer and the excellence of these boats is growing. These vessels were very capable of such world encircling voyages - before the authorities cast doubt on the roundness of the world and introduced the flat earth theories and guided superstition in a manner that it controlled who went where and how they accomplished it.

Vikings in the Pacific? Perhaps this is closer to the truth than we now know. What if some Maori are actually decendants of Viking and Scots womenfolk taken as prizes from the defeated and devoured? (The Saga of Taine Ruaridh Mhor).What of the anomalous structures, wrecks and artifacts found throughout the Pacific? History is impartial. It is what happened, regardless of what modern historians, archaeologists and skeptics would prefer to have happened. Many experts manipulate what they find to match what they expected to find, or would prefer to to have found, to suit current ideological preconceptions. So in too many cases accepted or portrayed history is false or deviates somewhat from truth and is open to revision.


Since first commenting about the probability of Vikings entering the Pacific by way of the Bering Strait, having passed through the North West passage, my attention has been drawn to the following site .... http://www.spirasolaris.ca/index.htm
This index page lists some interesting pages but particularly the following:

THE LAST VIKING:

.................Introduction.....http://www.spirasolaris.ca/1aintro.html
Part I:.......
Viking Press and Viking Ships. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1av.html
Part II:......
West by North West. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1bv.html
Part III:.....
Three Steps back. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1bv2.html
Part IV:....
Symbols and Markers. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1bv3.html
Part V: ....
The Copper Canoe. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1cv.html
Part VI: ...
The Warp and the Weave. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/sbb4g1dv.html
Part VII:...
Helluland, Markland and Vinland. http://www.spirasolaris.ca/Sbb4g1ev.html

_______ Please note the above links were revised 30/11/01

Until we understand more about the ancient seaways and trading routes we should not discount the possibility that adventurous and competent mariners travelled far further than we give credit, earlier than we currently conceive. Is the sea a barrier or a vast broad highway? (Phoenicians) The teredo worm was/is a severe problem in the Atlantic Ocean - hence the importance of copper sheathing on wooden hulls for ocean voyages, or the use of worm resistant timbers.

Here are some links to modern Viking ship, Highland Birlinn and similar sites.

Gaia
Gander Academy
Leifur Eriksson - Iceland 2000
Leif Erickson Vikingship
Nyhedsbrev - Roskilde Viking Ship Museum
Scarborough Viking Festival, June 2000
Scientific American
The Aileach - A Highland galley/Birlinn
The Mariner's Museum
The Roskilde Ships
Time Magazine TP
Time Magazine
Viking Boat Building
Viking Heritage
Viking Home Page
Viking Navy
Viking Network Events
Viking Ship Museum at Roskilde
Viking Times Magazine
A call for adventurous Vikings.

What's the chance of seeing modern Longships in Southern Waters?

When can we see a world circumnavigation by one or more Viking Long Ships. Modern yachts and old square riggers are not the only sailed vessels to have achieved this. Ancient maps from the time of the Greek Ptolomey indicate voyagers travelled this way in the distant past

Perhaps a small fleet of Viking Ship enthusiasts in Denmark, Norway, Britain and the USA could be enticed to circumnavigate via New Zealand and so prove something quite historically significant!


There is sufficient information to suggest that Viking ships or the Scottish equivalent, voyaged to NZ around the 11th century or so. Also somewhere in a Nn.hemisphere museum, there is a Viking ship that has been repaired with NZ Kauri. This was noticed by a New Zealander with boatbuilding / woodworking experience, but the location of this vessel has yet to be retraced.

If you notice, hear of or are informed of such a repair please notify "Langskiberejse"

A Viking Ship Project

A project to build a Viking Ship is starting in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Initial feasibility and planning information is currently being accumulated. If you feel you have useful information, or can contribute/participate in any way, please let us know. The concept is to initially build a boat of trailer-sailer size. A modern 4WD with a sturdy boat-trailer should prove a much easier form of transportation than having to collect "volunteer labour" from the local populace to pull the ship over log rollers from coast to inland river or lake. Also because Hamilton is an inland city it will be the most appropriate method for getting to the ports of Auckland, Raglan, Thames and Tauranga or any inland lake. The Waikato river, which Hamilton sits astride, is NZ's longest river and is navigable from the Tasman sea at Port Waikato, up to Cambridge, which is upstream from Hamilton. This river has a long history of navigation, but up river from Cambridge there are now many dams providing hydro-electric power. Cambridge was the limit of navigation for other than shallow draft, paddled craft.

We have access friendly Danes in Roskilde so the longship design will probably be based on one of the Danish longships. There may some design influence from the Gokstad and Oseberg longships in Oslo however, as it appears many of the "modern" longships are based on their style.

A brief overview of the project will appear in the next Hamilton Danish Society newsletter.

If you wish to contact our project team, e-mail us at "Longship Project Co-ordinator c/-"<kilt.hire@clear.net.nz>

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Copyright 2000, 2001 Mitchell