May 28, 2022

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Debate, Vikings ship |  Shipbuilding in Northern Norway 'in the past'

Debate, Vikings ship | Shipbuilding in Northern Norway ‘in the past’


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The oldest find is the Barst boat. The reconstruction shows a boat intended for rowing. The boat has 7 rooms and is just under 12 meters long. It was probably built in the northern part of Nordland at the end of the 9th century. The boat is large for its time and well built.

The ships Sigurd Slembe built in 1138 by the “Finns North of the Fjords” (possibly in Troms) were 12 rooms and approx. 20 miles away. According to the epic, they were both fast sailing and a very beautiful craft.

Then we come to the rudder ship. Rudd’s death may have many motives. At least, Olaf stole Rod’s ship, which later became the “Ormen Stott”. It must have had 30 rooms. The room was the space between two upper floors and was just under a meter wide. In other words, it was approximately 30 meters between the top and back floor. In addition, the ships of the end came. So the length of the “worm” must be more than 40 meters! There are no hints about where the ship was built (it’s for all the other ships mentioned in the saga). The grandiose size and décor with large volumes covered in gold and other artistic embellishments indicate a shipping company of incredible wealth and construction yard with high expertise and traditions in the region. The Worm was probably the largest ship built in Norway up to then. A shipyard of this capacity must be backed by very large local resources: both professionals and artists, capital, infrastructure, access to raw materials and luxury goods such as gold and iron – if we take Snorre for a good fish? This was written more than two hundred years later, and its sources were often oral traditions of real value. It can be mentioned here for comparison, that the remains of a ship found under Bregen in Bergen were between 27 and 30 meters long, the largest ship of the High Middle Ages found in Northern Europe. And the ships were hardly larger than before: the Oseberg ship was 21.5 meters high and had 15 rooms. The Gokstad ship is 23.8 meters long and has 16 rooms. Both were built around the same time as the “worm”. The length of the “worm” was 8 times its size!

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At Kvernesvågen on Husøy in Træna, the remains of a ship approx. 20 meters. It was built from pine from western Norway that was roughly cut down. 1400. In Lofond, remains of a similar wreck were found. It was built from pine from the far south of the country that was almost cut down. 1440. Height 12-14 meters,

At Fiskvågvannet in Rognan, the remains of a boat were found, a hull made from a naturally grown element and from the end of a rather small boat. Oak material. The frame is approx dated. 1260

What would happen to build a ship like ‘The Worm? In Saltdale it was reported that it took 30 days out of 10 hours on a man with a five-cavity 10-11 meters in length. It is impossible to include all the deforestation, transportation, sawing and planning of voids. These are also forms of Our time when sawmills, modern tools, and factory-made boat seams were used. Stocks, platforms, sails, etc. were probably not included either. The Bårset boat was much larger, intricately built, and required a lot more labor than the last five berths had. Of course , the hourly consumption increases with the size of the boat.This is an example: If a 20ft boat requires a certain number of hours, a 40ft boat will require 8x, and an 80ft boat will require 8x.If one takes The Bårset boat as a starting point, for example, said it required 3,000 man-hours inclusive, Sigurd Slembe’s boats, which were twice as long, would require 24,000 hours. And the “worm”, 4 times that, required 192,000 hours! We still use this method to calculate depreciation. Hourly by weight/volume in shipbuilding. Thus the construction time and hourly consumption can be estimated with a reasonable degree of probability. 192,000 hours a day 12 hours for 300 days gives 53 men – plus the efforts of the artists. In addition, there is a large support apparatus in the form of the local community that will keep the workforce alive.

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At the 1801 census, 1.1 per thousand of the country’s population lived in Saltdalen. After the Black Death, perhaps about 250 thousand people left the country. If the distribution is still the same, then it should be approx. 275 people in Saltdalen after the Don. But this number may be excessive. Some settlements were almost completely evacuated. For example, mass graves of more than 50 bodies were found at Sana in Trana. It should be almost the entire population.

In the year 1000, according to official figures, there were about 150,000 people throughout the country. With the same population distribution as in 1801, there would be 165 all-inclusives in Saltdalen – if the valley had any permanent residents at that time. How would one be able to “prove” a “worm” based on such facts?