Travel Allowed the Vikings to Create Stunning Jewellery
As the Vikings travelled Europe, they engaged in a massive cultural exchange which allowed them to create a wide array of stunning jewellery, examples of which you can buy from Artemission.
The Vikings were the sea-faring peoples of Medieval Scandinavia; Denmark, Norway and Finland. Historians generally regard the beginning of the ‘Viking Age,’ as 793 A.D. This is the year that Vikings launched a raid to pillage the British Island Monastery of Lindisfarne. The warriors of Scandinavia raided, pillaged and traded their way across Europe, from the British Isles to the Mediterranean, from the late 8th Century A.D. to the close of the 11th Century A.D.
With such a violent history, people believe that the Vikings were ‘noble savages.’ This couldn’t be further from the truth, as they developed a robust culture that came to rule large swathes of Europe, including the ‘Danelaw’ area of North-Eastern England. The Vikings were also the ancestors of the French ‘Normans,’ who themselves who came to dominate certain parts of Europe (including England) in the late 11th Century.
Vikings displayed their wealth and status like many other major societies of the day; through jewellery. Men and women wore jewellery including broches, arm rings and finger rings. Silver was usually the metal of choice for Viking jewellery, although the poor often crafted their pieces from cheaper Bronze, Pewter or animal bone; gold was rarely used. Many Viking pieces took their inspiration from the animals and nature of Scandinavia to craft intricate designs onto their most prized pieces of jewellery.
Evolution of jewellery
At the beginning of the Viking Age, around the 8th Century A.D, Viking jewellery was plain and unadorned. As the Vikings raided and traded their way across Europe, they came across some of the most culturally advanced societies of the day. They encountered the Anglo-Saxons of England, the Holy Romans of Central Europe and Italy and even the Byzantines of Greece and Turkey, the last bastions of Imperial Roman culture.
The Vikings not only amassed great wealth, but came into contact with new ideas, philosophies, belief-systems and concepts; facilitating one of the biggest cultural exchanges of the Medieval Era. Throughout the 9th, 10th and 11th Centuries A.D., silver and even gold jewellery became more common across Viking society, as they brought the spoils of war back home. Their pieces became more intricate, as contact with Europe introduced new ideas which inspired jewellery makers across Scandinavia.
By the height of Viking power in Europe, they were creating some of the most bold, beautiful jewellery of the Medieval Age. Many of these pieces survived through to the modern era, such as the Viking Silver Finger Ring, believed to be made in the 10th – 11th Centuries A.D., which you can buy from artemission.com.
Artemission.com (Atticart Ltd.) is the leading antiquities gallery online. Starting the very first internet site dealing with authentic antiquities, Artemission specialise in ancient art from Egypt, the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, as well as Islamic Art and Ancient Coins.