Vikings had stained glass windows long before medieval churches and castles. According to Danish researcher Mads Dingso Jessen, this once again proves that the image of “simple savage Vikings waving their swords” is incorrect.
The researcher is affiliated with the National Museum in Copenhagen. He and others examined and analyzed 61 pieces of glass. These types of fragments have been found over the past 25 years by archaeologists in six excavations in southern Sweden, Denmark and northern Germany.
Research shows that the Vikings already had stained glass windows between 800 and 1100. This is much older than the glass found in churches and castles from the Middle Ages.
“We have associated early window glass only with the Middle Ages, and therefore assumed that the glass could not have come from the Viking Age,” the National Museum said in a statement on Thursday. Until now.
The Viking elite may have had stained glass windows
According to researchers, it is clear that the glass fragments date back to the Viking Age (793 to 1066). “It was likely also in use during that period,” says Governor Torben Süd.
The museum believes that the elite mainly owned glass. It could also have been used in religious buildings. Researcher Dingso Jessen confirms that the power of the Viking elite was similar to that of Charlemagne, for example. “This is something that is often overlooked in Hollywood’s simplistic depiction of Vikings.”
Dengsø Jessen can imagine that the great halls of the mighty Vikings had glass windows. Those windows looked different from the ones we have now.
The windows may not have been large and transparent, but they were much smaller and were different shades of green and brown. The idea was not to be able to see from the outside, but to create colored light in the building.
The museum believes that the Vikings obtained the glass through trade. In their time, the Vikings plundered, occupied and colonized regions throughout Europe. But they also traded. They have already set foot in North America.
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