The Vikings have been known for a long time for piracy traveling out of the northern lands in longships to burn villages along their way across Europe. However, Vikings achieved greatness in Scandinavian art, craftsmanship, marine technology, exploration, and the development of commerce. .
Vikings were people who lived during a period of a large Scandinavian expansion in the Middle Ages from around 800 to 1100 AD. The name Viking might have been created from the old word vik or bay. Viking people came from what is now Norway. .
Vikings had an agricultural society in which farming, cattle breeding, hunting, and fishing where used. Some items were traded like salt, which was a necessity to survive. Vikings exported iron, whetstones, and soapstone. These items were a great contribution to the trade growth of the Vikings. Trade was plentiful even when Viking raids took place. Trade was done between Western Europe and other areas. Evidence of thick layers of waste around structures shows the Viking people did not pay much attention to waste disposal. .
The first recorded Viking raid occurred around 790 – 800 AD at an island just northeast of England. Other raids were recorded around the same period of time. As the end of the Viking age began, Christianity widely spread in Nordic countries. Around 1000, most Vikings became Christian, stopping their raids. Christianity replaced the Viking religion where gods each had power over their own domain. Odin was the leader of them all. Thor was the god of the warriors. Froy was the goddess held responsible for good livestock and fertile soil. Unlike other Germanic groups, Vikings did not follow Rome. A strong belief in afterlife is shown by burial techniques of the Vikings. Male warriors were almost always buried with a weapon by their side. .
The Vikings built many ships. They had great marine technology of their time. The Oseberg ship was built around 820 AD. The Vikings even buried their ships after they were finished using them.