Vikings in North America (03:43)
Norse sagas from the 13th century claimed Vikings sailed to a land beyond Greenland. In the 1960s, archaeologists uncovered Viking buildings and artifacts in Newfoundland, meaning they had arrived hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus.
Search for Viking Sites (03:13)
Space archaeologist Sarah Parcak uses satellites to scan for potential Viking settlements. Vikings did not construct huge monuments, but small farmsteads. She works with historian Dan Snow, who is tracing the Norse path through Europe and beyond.
Viking Life (04:29)
The Scandinavian landscape was dominated by water and small settlements scattered throughout vast areas. Jarls were the highest members of society. They were isolated from most Europeans until about 700 AD when ship building techniques advanced and they started trading and raiding.
Viking Longship (03:23)
The rounded hull and shallow keel of longships allowed the Vikings to travel great distances. The ships were made of flexible oak and were clinker built, making them lighter.
Vikings in Britain (05:09)
Anglo-Saxons who settled Britain converted to Christianity by 700 AD and viewed the Vikings as savage, pagan raiders. Monasteries often had large amounts of silver and ceremonial objects that made them prime targets for Viking raiders. The Vikings built settlements in Scotland.
Viking Longhouses (04:43)
Longhouses were large structures with a distinctive shape and could be the key to Parcak finding undiscovered Viking settlements. She focuses on the island of Papa Stour and believes she found the wall of a longhouse on the grounds of a modern farmstead.
Potential Viking Site (03:19)
Archaeologists begin excavating the possible longhouse site on Papa Stour. The team finds a wall that matches Parcak's satellite image and a semi-precious stone from India that was used in Viking jewelry.
Viking Camp (04:34)
Invading Viking warriors set up a camp at Repton in England. Local archaeologists found numerous Viking burial sites throughout the area. Burying their dead showed the Vikings settled in England, instead of just raiding.
Viking Capital in England (04:37)
In 876, the Vikings made York their center of trade in England; artifacts from throughout the world have been uncovered. The pagan Vikings and the Christian Anglo-Saxons began to peacefully co-exist in the city.
Vikings in Iceland (04:47)
Oppressive Jarls caused many Vikings to sail to different lands. Iceland had better farmland and a less harsh climate. Dwellings were built out of turf, making it harder for Parcak to locate, but she finds a wall with the help of experts.
Icelandic Vikings Sagas (07:53)
The sagas were passed down orally for generations and first written down by monks in the 13th century. They provided a wealth of knowledge about Viking history, government, and culture. The Viking government exiled explorer Erik the Red.
Credits: The Vikings Uncovered: Episode 1 (01:44)
Credits: The Vikings Uncovered: Episode 1
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