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The Vikings in America and Greenland - page 5 / 19

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Viking ships and sailing routes

The Viking sailing ships were masterpieces of their time. They were made in various sizes, some of them being 120 feet long, and many of them capable of carrying 100 people or more. They usually had a mast for a square sail in the middle of the ship, but like the Phoenician ships, they could be rowed when necessary. They had a shallow draft so they could land in areas where other ships could not, and they were light enough for the crew to portage if needed.

Viking expedition and trading routes

Viking expeditions (blue line) at 1,000 AD depicting their voyages throughout most of Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, the Arctic and North America. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vikings-Voyages.png]

The Viking ships were known as longboats and were made of overlapping planks fastened with iron rivets in drilled holes. The overlapping technique was called "klinker." Because of the riveted construction, they could flex with the movement of the ocean. They were strongly built with a high bow and stern, and were the most seaworthy craft of their day.

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