SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration based on an actual Viking ship.The Gokstad Viking Ship was found in 1879, almost complete, in a burial mound at Gokstad, Norway. It was built around 890 AD, and buried in 900 AD. It is classed as a "karv" (old norse "karfi"), and intended for trade, warfare and the transportation of people and cargo. The vessel was fast and capable of voyages on the high seas. It could be propelled by oars as well as the sail. It was probably about 12 metres wide and 6 metres tall. Clinker built of oak, the ship is 23.8 metres in length with a beam of 5.2 metres and a maximum displacement of 20 tons. It had a crew of 34 men including 32 oarsmen, the helmsman and lookout. There were 16 shuttable oar ports on each side, and when discovered there were 32 shields fixed to both sides. In 1893 a replica of the Gokstad ship - "Viking" - was sailed across the north Atlantic from Norway to America.
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