Viking Age sources overview
Our knowledge of the Viking Age (c793-c1066) is based on fragmented and incomplete sources. Contemporary written records are scarce, and credible ones even more so. However, the combined efforts of a number of fields of study is contributing to an ever increasing understanding of this period of history. Contributors include archaeologists, historians, geneticists, biologists, geologists, and linguists.
What is known stems from varied sources that can be grouped into three main areas (click for more details about each):
A) Physical artifacts – these include remains of settlements and ships, graves and remains, coins and jewelry, and runic artifacts.
B) Written sources – these include contemporary (mostly foreign) chronicles, biographies and travelogues, and the later Scandinavian sagas and skaldic epics.
C) Other evidence / traces – these include genetic mapping, biology and botany, linguistic analysis and traces of Viking law principles in later European law books.