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Year 8 Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea

We saw a display that contained artefacts and replicas of artefacts that are over 1000 years old.

On Friday 5 March, the Year 8’s jumped on a bus and went to sea! We went to see the Viking exhibition currently showing at WA Maritime Museum. The display contained artefacts and replicas of artefacts that are over 1000 years old, including swords, axes, jewellery, keys, and religious artefacts.

The display also contained a scaled down replica of a Viking longship; a technology that enabled them to sail the rough North Sea, but also navigate inland rivers all the way to the Black Sea to trade and raid. Great status was placed upon raiding (the meaning of the word Viking); our guide told us that a woman could divorce a man who didn’t do enough raiding! Some of the wealth gained by trading, slavery and raiding was on display.

We were delighted to connect with Harald Bluetooth and noted his devotion to his wife in the erection of the Jelling Stone (pictured with a few raging Vikings alongside). Harald is also credited with encouraging the introduction of Christianity to Viking society; the Jelling Stone and the Aby Crucifix shows the mixture of their pagan symbols with the Christ. Some historians wonder if the coming of Christianity is why they stopped raiding. We will be exploring all these questions and more next semester when we delve into medieval history.

After exploring other seafaring vessels in the museum, a brisk wall through Fremantle to lunch was followed by definite proof that there is never enough time for parkour!

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