Was there a Viking Age 2000 years before the known one? (astonishing finds)

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https://sciencenorway.no/archaeology-bro...gs/1698522

EXCERPTS: It may be that people from the North went to the Mediterranean with "Viking ships" as early as 3000 years ago. In recent years, archaeologists who study Norway during the Bronze Age have discovered a great deal of new information. Some now have a completely different perspective on this period. Colleagues in Sweden and Denmark feel the same way. They see evidence of a first Viking Age. The thing is, it happened three thousand years ago. That which is today known as the Viking Age took place only a thousand years ago.

People who lived in Norway 3000 years ago were far less primitive than many have imagined. They were not hunters who still lived a Stone Age kind of life. The ships built by Norwegians, Swedes and Danes during the Bronze Age may have had a crew of over 50 men. People from Scandinavia went to England in ships like these. They probably made their way down the great rivers in Europe. They may have used the ships to travel to Finnmark in northern Norway. And perhaps to Italy in the south.

As many as 90 per cent of all Bronze Age petroglyphs (rock carvings) in Norway feature ships, both large and small. They have now begun to attract the attention of archaeologists. Why were people in Norway 3000 years ago so focused on ships?

When Norwegians learn about the many petroglyphs found in their country during history class in school, the teacher and textbook probably describe them as mythological images of ships, transporting passengers into the realm of death. Essentially, they were thought to be some kind of religious images. But would it be too unbelievable if the ships were real?

People in Norway, Sweden and Denmark during the Bronze Age travelled far and wide. They were mobile people. They travelled all the way to Spain and Italy. Some may have travelled all the way to Greece and to the Pharaohs of Egypt. This can't be ruled out, at least.

People may have travelled thousands of years ago from Norway all the way to the Mediterranean in ships that were possibly as large as those sailed by the Vikings. At Hornnes in Skjeberg in Østfold, there’s a whole armada of 17 Bronze Age ships that are heading south along what was once a rock mountain on the water's edge. There was probably a beach here where the ships were pulled ashore. All the ships in the images have large crews. Several have rudders. Also, note the very special bow and stern. At least one of the ships features something similar to a dragon's head, and is reminiscent of Viking ships.

People may have travelled thousands of years ago from Norway all the way to the Mediterranean in ships that were possibly as large as those sailed by the Vikings. At Hornnes in Skjeberg in Østfold, there’s a whole armada of 17 Bronze Age ships that are heading south along what was once a rock mountain on the water's edge. There was probably a beach here where the ships were pulled ashore. All the ships in the images have large crews. Several have rudders. Also, note the very special bow and stern. At least one of the ships features something similar to a dragon's head, and is reminiscent of Viking ships.

[...] Kristian Kristiansen from Gothenburg University says that all of this new information has led to a great deal of discussion among Bronze Age experts. The fundamental question is whether the information from all this new research accurately reflects what life was like for the people who lived in northern Europe three thousand years ago. In the past, Bronze Age researchers placed a great deal of emphasis on the local community, where people lived. They conducted digs and searched for artefacts where people lived, without thinking so much about their relationship to the rest of the world.

The most important finds were considered to be valuable items, weapons and jewellery. Now the research has shifted to focus more on the people themselves and how they lived. In recent years, researchers such as Kristiansen, Melheim, Vandkilde and others have focused on new scientific methods which create an image of a very mobile Bronze Age society with contacts over long distances. [...] Researchers can now measure trace elements in the copper which helps tell them where the metal has come from. Along with lead isotopes in the copper, the trace elements can tell us what kind of ore it was and how old the copper is. Together, this creates a kind of fingerprint that reveals the age and place of origin of the metal.

“DNA and the chemical markers we find in dead Bronze Age people are equally exciting,” Kristiansen said. “This information tells us that people at that time often travelled far, especially the women.”

[...] three remarkable finds of Bronze Age women have been made in Denmark: the Egtved girl, the Skrydstrup woman and the Ølby woman. The Ølby woman was buried 3300 years ago. Her clothes were very well preserved and give archaeologists unique insights into how a Nordic woman dressed so long ago. The woman wore a tied skirt that was typical for Bronze Age women. She also had a short sword made of metal from Austria, a chest buckle made of metal from Italy and a metal neck collar from Slovakia. There was also a small blue glass bead in the grave, which came from Egypt. The Ølby woman illustrates how globalized the Nordic countries were during the Bronze Age... (MORE - details)
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