15 :: Viking Ship (10th century)

Remains of Scandinavian boats survive dating back to 3500 years before the Christian Era. As early as the 8th century A.D., sails were added to oars. This is when the boats take the typical shape represented by Lecouvie: planking assembled by clincher, decorations at prow and at poop, steering by scull, detachable mast and yard.


This boat dates to the days of Erik the Red, who landed in Greenland in 982, and of the discovery of North America by Bjarn Herjolfsson. We know through the Icelandic sagas, an oral tradition until they were written down in the late Middle Ages, that the lands seen by Bjarn and later explored by Leif Eriksson (son to Erik the Red) in the years following 1000 most likely extended to Newfoundland.


Archeological digs have since unearthed traces of Viking dwellings 1000 years old at L’Anse aux Meadows, at the far northern end of Newfoundland.