Bored Viking on Gokstad Ship (1100 years ago)

10:39 AM

Are you ever bored? What do you then? 
What would you do if you were Viking sailing for days on a small ship?

Life of a Viking was... monotonous. Living in small towns, looking after their farms and preparing for another military campaign. When they were ready, they went on their warships to sail for many days. 

One of the most amazing artifacts ever found is barely visible. On two wooden planks you can see small carvings which are... outlines of feet. Mighty Gokstad ship was found in found in a burial mound in Norway. It is one of the largest viking ships found. The Gokstad ship is clinker-built and constructed largely of oak. The ship was intended for warfare, trade, transportation of people and cargo. The ship is 23.80 metres (78.1 ft) long and 5.10 m (16.7 ft) wide. The ship was built to carry 32 oarsmen, and the oar holes could be hatched down when the ship was under sail. It utilized a square sail of approximately 110 square metres (1,200 sq ft), which, it is estimated, could propel the ship to over 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). The ship could carry a crew of 40 men but could carry a maximum of 70. 

Even though the ship was excavated 133 years ago and has been in Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum since 1932, researchers only noticed the footprints in 2009 when moving the loose floorboards.

Two small carvings was probably the work of a bored youth, much like kids these days might carve their initials into their desks. The right foot is quite visible while the outline of the left foot is only partially visible. The right foot is 22 centimeters long, which corresponds to shoe size 4 (Europe; 35). We believe that those carvings were made during sailing by some bored, young warrior just like modern teens do.  He wass crowded into a sleek sailing ship with 65 other men. Scarcely room to move. It’s been days since anybody has seen land − longer since anyone bathed. The old-timers’ repeated tales of bygone raids and voyages are beginning to wear thin. His place is behind an oar, but there is no need to row continuously on the North Sea. With wind in the sail, the boat surges towards England, where riches await. But what is there to do while waiting to reach a foreign coast?
Maybe it was a teenager engaged in a Viking version of tagging a school desk. In any case, someone took out his knife, bent down and traced the outline of his foot on the deck of the Gokstad Ship. "I was here" message from 1100 years ago.

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