In the period from 800 to 1050 A.D., the Nordic peoples made their dramatic entry into the European arena. Early writers called them Vikings, which means 'inlet-men', because they came from the deep inlets of Scandinavia.
The explosive expansion of the Vikings was the result of Scandinavian overpopulation troubles, which skill in navigation made exportable. The Vikings had developed the keeled long-boat, which by its shallow draught could sail far up rivers, and which by its sturdy construction could ride out the fiercest storms of the Atlantic ocean.
The Vikings were raiding all the European coasts down to Spain and along the rivers into the heart of Europe. They braved the northern seas until they arrived in Iceland and around AD 1000 they reached Greenland and discovered America.
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The Viking Longboat