Monday, September 11, 2006

In the end they really weren't so horrible
RAPING and pillaging. Longboats and horned helmets. Beards and ginger hair. Is that all there was to the Vikings?

Certainly the people who came from what is modern-day Scandinavia - Norway, Sweden and Denmark - and travelled to Scotland over 1200 years ago leaving their homes behind them, must have had more about them than a taste for beer and hunks of animal flesh. Yet this is the way many people today think of Vikings.

It's hardly surprising when you think of the way they're portrayed on film and television. And even though there's a variety of evidence available when studying Viking Scotland including language, place-names, documentary sources, oral tradition and archaeology - there are still many questions unanswered.