York was once a thriving Viking city called Jorvik. Archaeologists in the 70s and 80s discovered the houses, workshops and backyards of these Vikings as they were 1000 years ago. They are now on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. I took the kids there to have a look and it was fascinating for all of us. For instance, the water quality was so poor in the city during this time that everyone drank beer, including the children!
In some respects, I even envied them their lifestyle. Not the lack of running water or flushing toilets and generally filthy living conditions but Jorvik looked to be a thriving city with people trading the things they had made themselves like jewellery, combs, woven cloth, skins, shoes, utensils, cups and bowls. It’s very satisfying to be able to make something with your own hands. Anyone who knits or crochets can understand this. But it’s very hard, almost impossible, to make a living out of doing these things in our society.
Some photos from our visit. Here’s Daniel and Elizabeth trying on some Viking clothing.
I crocheted this Viking hat myself before we left Auckland. I knew about York’s Viking history and so I made it especially for our trip. Apparently though, the Vikings never actually wore horned helmets but this is such a widely accepted and popular myth and the hats do look good with horns….