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TUNIC : What did Vikings (Germanic people) wear?

August – 2023 20 MINS READ
My research is taking a step back to the basics. I have recently been studying the relatively modern period of the 1800s and 1900s, but I believe that a solid foundation in the history of the shirt begins with the tunic , chiton and toga etc. However, as underwear is not as common in warmer regions, I would like to focus my research on clothing from northern regions this time.This research will surely lead to shirts as underwear.
I like “Vinland Saga (manga/anime)”. The author is also very good at historical research. I’ve seen opinions that abroad there are only stereotypical VIKING dramas and films, which don’t tell about the real VIKING. I hear that this anime is more popular abroad than in Japan. Now what did VIKING really wear?
Vikings typically wore a long tunic, trousers, and a cloak. They also wore a variety of accessories, such as belts, brooches, and jewelry. The materials used for Viking clothing varied depending on the region and the wealth of the individual. In general, however, Viking clothing was made from wool, linen, and fur.The anime Vinland Saga is generally considered to be historically accurate. The author, Makoto Yukimura, has done extensive research on the Viking Age, and the anime reflects this research. For example, the clothing worn by the characters in the anime is based on archaeological evidence.
The sustainable and eco-friendly nature of wool has also contributed to Oregon’s green initiative, as it is a renewable resource that can be harvested from sheep without causing harm to the animals, and its production process has a relatively low environmental impact compared to synthetic fibers.<span style=”color: var( –e-global-color-5fd1a4d ); background-color: var(–nv-site-bg); letter-spacing: var(–bodyletterspacing); text-transform: var(–bodytexttransform);”>Furthermore, the wool industry in Oregon has a deep-rooted tradition and heritage, with many ranchers and farmers continuing the practice of raising sheep and producing wool for generations. This adds value to the wool products and attracts consumers looking for authentic and locally-sourced materials.
Vikings from Scandinavia had similar physical appearances to modern Scandinavians. They had fair skin and hair colors that varied from blond, dark, and reddish. Genetic studies suggest that people in what is now eastern Sweden were mostly blond, while red hair was mostly found in western Scandinavia.Most Viking men had shoulder-length hair and beards. Slaves (thralls) were usually the only men with short hair. The length of hair and beard varied according to personal preference and occupation. Men involved in warfare, for example, may have had slightly shorter hair and beards for practical reasons. Men in some regions bleached their hair a golden saffron color.Viking women also had long hair. Girls often wore their hair loose or braided, and married women often wore it in a bun. The average height of Vikings is estimated to have been 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) for men and 1.55 m (5 ft 1 in) for women.
The three social classes of Vikings (jarls, karls, and thralls) were easily recognizable by their appearance. Men and women of the jarl class were well-groomed with neat hairstyles. They expressed their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes (often silk) and well-crafted jewelry like brooches, belt buckles, necklaces, and arm rings. Almost all of the jewelry was crafted in specific designs unique to the Norse. Finger rings were seldom used and earrings were not used at all, as they were seen as a Slavic phenomenon. Most karls expressed similar tastes and hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way.
Archaeological finds from Scandinavia and Viking settlements in the British Isles support the idea of the well-groomed and hygienic Viking. Burial with grave goods was a common practice in the Scandinavian world, through the Viking Age and well past the Christianization of the Norse peoples. Within these burial sites and homesteads, combs, often made from antler, are a common find. The manufacturing of such antler combs was common, as at the Viking settlement at Dublin hundreds of examples of combs from the tenth-century have survived, suggesting that grooming was a common practice. The manufacture of such combs was also widespread throughout the Viking world, as examples of similar combs have been found at Viking settlements in Ireland, England, and Scotland. The combs share a common visual appearance as well, with the extant examples often decorated with linear, interlacing, and geometric motifs, or other forms of ornamentation depending on the comb’s period and type, but stylistically similar to Viking Age art. All levels of Viking age society appear to have groomed their hair, as hair combs have been found in common graves as well as in aristocratic ones.
I like “Vinland Saga (manga/anime)”. The author is also very good at historical research. I’ve seen opinions that abroad there are only stereotypical VIKING dramas and films, which don’t tell about the real VIKING. I hear that this anime is more popular abroad than in Japan. Now what did VIKING really wear?
tunic (n.)
A tunic is a simple garment that covers the body from the shoulders to the waist or knees. It was a basic garment worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, and it was derived from earlier Greek garments.
late 15c., from Old French tunique (12c.) or directly from Latin tunica “undergarment worn by either sex” (source of Spanish tunica, Italian tonica, Old English tunece, Old High German tunihha), probably from a Semitic source (compare Hebrew kuttoneth “coat,” Aramaic kittuna). Compare chitin, from a Greek name for a similar garment, also probably from a Semitic source.
Greek tunic (BC.3000 – BC.1000)
Ancient Greece played a significant role in the evolution of tunics, which were later adopted by the Romans. The tunics in both Greek and Roman cultures were developed from similar garments like the chiton, chitoniskos, and exomis, each being variations of this clothing style. In ancient Greece, the tunic’s hemline was adorned with decorations representing the wearer’s city-state.
Tunics in Greece and Rome could be dyed in vibrant colors such as red, purple, or green. Another variation was the sisura (σισύρα), which Pollux described as a tunic with sleeves made of skins. According to the SUDA, it functioned as a type of inexpensive cloak, resembling a one-shoulder tunic. The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities suggests that it may have been more like a cloak than a tunic, used for warmth or even for sleeping. In later writings, the term “sisura” might have been used to refer to a piece of cloth.
Around 550 B.C., the chiton, previously exclusive to men, gained popularity among women. In winter, they wore woolen garments, and during summer, they opted for linen or silk, especially if they were wealthy. These lightweight and airy tunics offered relief from the scorching ancient Greek summers.The chiton, a tunic type, comprised a rectangular cloth secured over the shoulders and upper arms with fasteners. The folded top edge was pinned at the shoulders, while the lower part acted as the second clothing layer. Two styles emerged: the Ionic chiton and the Doric chiton. The Doric chiton, also known as the Doric peplos, emerged around 500 B.C.E. It was made from a larger piece of woolen fabric, allowing it to be pleated and draped. Belting the chiton accentuated its drapery effect. In contrast to the heavy wool peplos, the chiton used lighter materials like linen or silk.During the Persian Wars (492-479 BC) and beyond, the simpler Doric chiton gave way to the more intricate Ionic chiton, typically crafted from linen. The Ionic chiton featured a belted waist or just below the breasts, and the pinned shoulders formed elbow-length sleeves.
The exomis, an Ancient Greek tunic, was commonly worn by workers and light infantry. It replaced the shorter chitoniskos as the main tunic for hoplites in the later 5th century BC. Made from two rectangles of linen stitched together at the sides, it formed a cylinder with space at the top for the arms and an opening for the head. A cloth belt tied with a reef knot gathered the tunic at the waist, concealing it from view. To allow free movement for the right arm, the seam at the right shoulder was undone, and the right hand passed through the head opening.The tunic’s color varied, but red, especially crimson, became the preferred standard color for hoplites during and after the Peloponnesian War. The exomis could be worn alongside the chlamys cape (also known as ephaptis).This garment was later adopted by the Romans.
The peplos, an ancient Greek women’s garment, was a large rectangle of heavy, woolen fabric folded over at the upper edge to reach the waist. It was draped around the body and fastened with fibulae. Girls participated in making ‘sacred peplos’ for rituals, while young unmarried women wove wedding peplos for the virgin goddess Athena Polias at the Panathenaea, symbolizing the importance of marriage in the festival.Near the Erechtheion, there’s the Peplos Kore, a statue of a woman wearing a colorful peplos with white fabric and decorated with small animals, birds, and riders. The impressive cult statue of Athena Parthenos by Phidias, dedicated in 438 BCE, depicted a woman draped in a richly pleated peplos, adorned with a shield featuring Medusa’s head, a helmet, and Nike’s wreath of victory.

The himation, the final category of ancient Greek women’s fashion, served as a basic outer garment worn by both genders over the chiton or peplos. It was a large rectangular piece of cloth that draped under the left arm and over the right shoulder. Archaeological evidence from statues and vases shows that these garments were often dyed in bright colors and adorned with various designs, woven into the fabric or painted on. One common way for women to wear the himation was to wrap it around their entire body and tuck a fold into their girdle. An example of this can be seen in the caryatid statues on the Erechtheion of the Acropolis in Athens, dating back to the late 5th century B.C.E. The sculptor skillfully carved the marble, depicting the himation surrounding the upper torso, passing through the left hand, and forming a fold attached to the right shoulder with clasps or buttons.Greek women donned himations in different styles, using them as warm cloaks over their lightweight Ionic chitons. On certain occasions, women would entirely cover themselves with their himations, veiling their faces when experiencing strong emotions or shame. The veil in ancient Greek women’s fashion also allowed them to express themselves and assert control over their movement and status in the male-dominated society. Unenslaved Greek women would wear a veil over their dress whenever they left the house. The influence of women’s fashion can also be seen in contemporary art, like the ‘Tanagra’ terracotta figurine, “La Dame en bleu,” which portrays a woman wearing a himation as a veil. The folds of the himation cover her head and shoulders, making her socially invisible and allowing her to enjoy privacy while in public. The custom of wearing a veil in public settings has connections to Eastern civilizations.

Roman tunic (BC.753 – AD.395 – AD.476 – AD.1453)
The Roman tunica became popular among Roman citizens during the 3rd century BC. It was a common attire worn not only by citizens but also by non-citizens. However, citizens often wore it underneath their toga, especially during formal events. In Roman society, the length of the tunica, the presence or absence of stripes, their width, and ornamentation were indicators of the wearer’s social status. For instance, Roman senators donned the Laticlavus, distinguished by broad purple stripes, while members of the equestrian class wore the Angusticlavia, featuring narrower stripes.In general, soldiers, slaves, and manual laborers wore tunics that reached a little above the knee, while those in more sedentary occupations wore tunics that extended to about the ankle (unless they expected to ride a horse, in which case they would wear a shorter tunic).
In ancient Rome, both men and women commonly wore tunics or chitons, which served as shirts or gowns. The tunics for men were typically loose-fitting, starting at the neck and reaching above the knee. On the other hand, women had the option of wearing either close-fitting or loose tunics that also began at the neck and extended over a skirt or multiple skirts.
ローマのチュニカは紀元前3世紀にローマ市民の間で流行しました。市民だけでなく非市民(奴隷など)も着用する一般的な服装でいした。しかし市民は特にフォーマルな行事の際にトーガを上に着用することが多かったです。ローマ社会では、チュニカの長さ、ストライプの有無、幅、装飾が着用者の社会的地位を示す指標になりました。一般的に、兵士、奴隷、肉体労働者は膝の少し上まであるチュニックを着用し、より定住的な職業に就いている者はくるぶしくらいまであるチュニックを着用していました。 古代ローマでは男女ともにシャツやガウンの役割を果たすチュニックやキトンを着用するのが一般的でした。男性のチュニックは首から膝上まであるゆったりしたものが一般的だった。一方、女性のチュニックは、ぴったりとしたものか同じく首からゆったりとしたもので、スカートや複数のスカートの上に伸びるものがありました。 
The toga, a distinct garment of ancient Rome, was a semicircular cloth measuring between 12 to 20 feet (3.7 to 6.1 m) in length, draped over the shoulders and around the body. Made from white wool, it was typically worn over a tunic. According to Roman tradition, it was favored by Romulus, the founder of Rome, and was initially worn by both sexes and the citizen-military. As Roman women began to adopt the stola, the toga became formal wear exclusively for male Roman citizens, except in cases of adultery or prostitution. The type of toga a person wore indicated their rank in the civil hierarchy. Laws and customs reserved its use for citizens, who were required to don it during public festivals and civic duties. Initially a simple, practical work-garment, the toga evolved into a more voluminous, intricate, and expensive attire, suitable only for formal and ceremonial occasions. While considered ancient Rome’s “national costume” and holding significant symbolic value, it was challenging to wear correctly and uncomfortable, leading many to opt for more comfortable and casual clothing when possible. Over time, it fell out of use, first among lower-class citizens, then the middle class, until it was exclusively worn by the highest classes during ceremonial events.
トーガは古代ローマの独特の衣服で長さ12〜20フィート(3.7〜6.1メートル)の半円形の布を肩から胴にかけて着用しました。白いウール製で一般的にはチュニックの上に着用されました。ローマの伝統によれば、ローマの創始者ロムルスが好んで着用し当初は男女と市民軍人が着用した。ローマの女性たちがストーラを着用するようになると、トーガは姦通や売春の場合を除き、ローマ市民の男性のみが着用する正装になりました。トーガの種類によって市民階層における階級が示されました。法律や習慣により、市民は公的な祭典や市民の義務の際に着用することが義務づけられていました。当初はシンプルで実用的な作業着であったトーガはよりボリュームがあり複雑で高価な服へと進化していき、フォーマルで儀式的な機会にのみ着用されるようになりました。古代ローマの “民族衣装 “とされ、重要な象徴的価値を持つ一方正しく着用するのは難しく着心地も悪かったため、多くの人が可能な限り、より快適でカジュアルな衣服を選ぶようになっていきました。やがて、下層市民、中流市民と着用されなくなり儀礼的な行事の際に上流階級だけが着用するようになりました。 
In Ancient Roman attire, the laticlave, also known as clavus, referred to a wide purple stripe or band on the front part of the tunic. It was specifically worn by senators as a symbol of their office. The term “laticlavia” translates to “broad nail” or “broad stripe,” in contrast to the “narrow stripe” (angusticlavia) found on the tunics of lower social ranks. Some believe that this embellishment was called clavus (“nail”) because it featured small round plates made of gold or silver, resembling the heads of nails. On the other hand, Cantelius argued that the clavus was composed of purple flowers sewn onto the fabric.
The angusticlave (angustus clavus: narrow band) differed from the laticlave (latus clavus: wide band) in Ancient Rome. It was a narrow purple band worn on the tunic by members of the Equestrian Order during the Empire. Additionally, the term could also refer to a function held by a knight. For example, the tribunes of angusticlave soldiers were six knights serving in an equestrian militia (a preparatory role within the Equestrian Order) on the staff of a legion.In contrast, the tribune of laticlave soldiers was a young man from the senatorial Order, also performing a preparatory function (part of his cursus honorum) alongside the previous six on the staff of a legion.
アングスティクラーヴェ(angustus clavus:狭い帯)は、古代ローマにおけるラティクラーヴェ(laticlave:広い帯)とは異なる。帝国時代、騎馬騎士団員がチュニックに着用していた紫色の細いバンドです。さらに、この用語は騎士の職責を指すこともありました。例えば、アングスティクラーベ兵の部族は、レギオン(軍団員)として馬術民兵(馬術騎士団内の準備的役割)に従事する6人の騎士でした。対照的に、ラティクラーベ兵の部族は、元老院騎士団の若者でありレギオン(軍団員)として準備的役割(cursus honorum=キャリアコース)を果たしました。 
Celtic tunic (BC.1500 – BC.400)
The Romans referred to the Celts as ‘Gauls’, and the area they inhabited was broadly regarded as Gaul, with the Alps in front of them called Gaul-Xalpina (meaning Gaul in front of the Alps) and Gaul-Transalpina (meaning Gaul beyond the Alps) on the other side of the Alps.
Celts wore tunics. Tunics were a common garment in many ancient cultures, and the Celts were no exception. Tunics were typically made of linen or wool, and they could be plain or decorated. They were often worn with a cloak or mantle. Celtic tunics were typically knee-length or longer, and they could be either sleeveless or have short sleeves. They were often belted at the waist. Men’s tunics were typically more elaborate than women’s tunics, and they often had decorative borders or embroidery.
© wikipedia commons
Germanic tunic

The long-sleeved tunics worn by various Germanic peoples in the colder regions of Middle and Northern Europe date back to ancient times, as depicted in historical images. These tunics were often shown on Roman monuments celebrating victories over these groups, displaying a simple pull-over design that reached either the mid-thighs or the knees. The Romans later adopted similar tunics, which remained in use during the Byzantine period. Even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the long-sleeved Celto-Germanic tunic continued to be popular. It underwent further developments from the earlier Graeco-Roman garment, featuring a tighter neckline with a front split for easy wearing, and gussets under the arms and around the lower half to create a flaring skirt. Vikings and Normans also embraced this garment, and it persisted as a common male attire throughout the Middle Ages. Remarkably, it was still in use in Norway as late as the 17th century. 

Germania in the 1st century. Includes some ethnic groups whose mother tongue is of doubtful Germanic origin, such as the Suebi (probably predominantly Celtic) and the Vandals (probably predominantly Slavic).
© wikipedia commons
© wikipedia commons
Medieval period
Throughout the medieval period, the tunic remained the fundamental garment for both men and women among the Byzantine Romans. The upper classes would add other garments on top of the basic tunic, such as the dalmatica, a shorter and heavier type of tunic, which was also worn by both genders, or the scaramangion, a Persian-origin riding coat. Those of higher status, except for military or riding attire, wore tunics that reached down to their ankles or almost so. These tunics were often dyed or intricately embroidered, while simpler ones were used for layering. 
Beyond the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire, the tunic continued to be worn in different parts of Europe during the Middle Ages, with varying sleeve and hem lengths. Usually reaching the knees or ankles, it was typically worn over underclothes, which included a shirt (often hip-length or longer) and drawers (knee- or ankle-length pants related to braccae). It might also be accompanied by hose. Common fabrics used were wool and linen, but the wealthy sometimes wore elaborate silk tunics, or less luxurious fabrics with silk trim. In English, the garment was referred to as a sark, a term still surviving in some northern UK dialects to mean a shirt or chemise.
During the Early Middle Ages, tunics often featured decorative embroidery or tablet-woven braids along the neck, hem, and wrists. This was the case for both wealthy and poor Anglo-Saxons before the Norman Conquest.


© wikipedia commons
VIKING (AD.800 – AD.1500)
Another name for the North Germanic (Norman) people who invaded various parts of Europe by sea from the end of the 8th century to the late 11th century.
The Vikings were indeed divided into Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish descent. They were also part of the Second Migration, which was a period of large-scale migration that took place in Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries. The origin of the word “Viking” is still debated, but there are several theories. One theory is that it comes from the Old Norse word “víkingr,” which means “pirate” or “raider.” Another theory is that it comes from the Old English word “wicing,” which also means “pirate.” Still another theory is that it comes from the Old Norse word “vik,” which means “bay.” There is no one definitive theory about the origin of the word “Viking,” but all of the theories seem to agree that it has something to do with seafaring or raiding.
In general, these external activities were an important impetus for the establishment of Western feudal society, and this period was also a period of political unification of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, raiding, colonisation and trading activities in various parts of Europe led to the development of major trading centres such as Hesbrugh in Denmark, Birka in Sweden and Kaupan in Norway, promoting trade in remote areas, and Christian missionary activities along these trade routes helped to transform Nordic Europe from a pagan society with followers of Odin and Thor’s gods to the European Christian world. The following is an overview of the respective activities of the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish groups.
ヴァキングとは8世紀末から11世紀後半にかけてヨーロッパ各地を海路で侵略した北ゲルマン人(ノルマン人)の別称です。ヴァイキングはデンマーク系、ノルウェー系、スウェーデン系に分かれていました。彼らはまた、8世紀から11世紀にかけてヨーロッパで起こった大規模な移動の時代である「第二次移民」の一員でした。「ヴァイキング」の語源についてはいまだに議論があるがいくつかの説を挙げると。ひとつは、”海賊 “や “略奪者 “を意味する古ノルド語の “víkingr “に由来するという説。もうひとつは、同じく “海賊 “を意味する古英語の “wicing “に由来するという説。さらに別の説では、”湾 “を意味する古ノルド語の “vik “に由来するというものもある。 しかし「ヴァイキング」の語源について、これだという決定的な説はないがどの説も航海や略奪と関係があるという点では一致しているようです。 
Danish Vikings
Northeastern England was raided from about 835, and extensive colonization proceeded in the middle of the same century, from which continental attacks were also made. Alfred the Great of Wessex prevented their southward expansion and recognized the Dane Low by treaty (886), but after his death, the region was again under the control of the Wessex kings. 925-980 was a period of peace, but this was followed by “the acquisition of all Denmark and Norway and the conversion of the Danes to Christianity. Toward the end of the 10th century, Harald I and Harald’s son Sven (king of Double-Beard) threatened England with a large Danish tax (994), and Sven’s son Sven (king of the Danish Empire) was also a great enemy of the English. After the conquest of England by Guillaume of Normandy (William I) in 1066, the invasions ceased and a Norman feudal state was formed. The Norman feudal state was formed here.
Norwegian Vikings
The Norwegians, from their bases in the Shetland and Orkney Islands at the end of the 8th century, scouted the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, colonized the Isle of Man in the early 9th century and began their invasion of Ireland, and in 837 Turgeis (date of birth and death unknown) founded the fortress city of Dublin and proclaimed himself King of Ireland. He called himself the King of Ireland. The kings of the Kingdom of Dublin, founded by Óláfrhinn Hvítí (d. 853), later fought with the Danes in northern England and attempted to unite Ireland with the native king Brian Boru (r. 941-1014). Brian Boru (r. 941-1014, reigned 975-1014) defeated them (1014), and they fell into decline. However, the base they built in Ireland later developed into a trading post. Around this time in England, Harald III (Harald III Sigurdsson, 1016-1066, reigned 1046-1066) attempted to conquer the country after a major expedition by Norwegian kings Aulakh I and Aulakh II, but was killed at Stamford Bridge ( 1066), and this was the last major offensive in England.
In the Frankish kingdom, Rouen was burned in 843, and the following year the Westfaldingi (meaning the inhabitants of Vestfold in the Oslo Gulf) sacked Nantes at the mouth of the Loire estuary and engaged in trade on the island of Noirmoutier, an accumulation of salt and wine. Some of them bypassed the Iberian Peninsula and came into contact with Muslim powers in the Mediterranean.
Iceland was first discovered by the Norwegian Viking, Naddoddr, in about 860. He was blown off course while sailing from Norway to the Faroe Islands. In 874, another Norwegian Viking, Ingólfur Arnarson, settled in Iceland and became the first permanent resident. By 930, there were about 50,000 people living in Iceland.The Icelandic Viking, Eiríkr the Red, colonized Greenland in about 982. He was exiled from Iceland for manslaughter, and he sailed west in search of a new land to settle. He found Greenland and named it after its green vegetation. Eiríkr’s son, Leif Erikson, explored the northeastern coast of America in about 1000. He called the land Vinland. However, Leif did not colonize Vinland, and it is not known if any other Vikings ever settled there.
ノルウェー人は8世紀末にシェットランド諸島とオークニー諸島を拠点にスコットランドとアイルランドの海岸を偵察し9世紀初頭にマン島を植民地化してアイルランドへの侵攻を開始、837年にターゲイス(生没年不詳)が要塞都市ダブリンを建設してアイルランド王を宣言し自らをアイルランド王と称しました。すでに土着化も始まっており(ノース・ゲール人) オラーフヒン・フヴィティ(853年没)はダブリン王国を建国。また奴隷貿易で富を築いたものもいた。彼らがアイルランドに築いた拠点は後に交易拠点として発展した。 イングランドではこの頃、ハラルド3世(Harald III Sigurdsson、1016〜1066、在位1046〜1066)が、ノルウェー王アウラフ1世とアウラフ2世の大遠征の後に征服を試みたが、スタンフォード橋で戦死し(1066)これがイングランドにおける最後の大攻勢となった。 フランク王国では、843年にルーアンが焼き払われ、翌年にはウェストファルディンディ(オスロ湾のヴェストフォルドの住民の意)がロワール河口のナントを略奪し、塩とワインの集積地であるノワールムーティエ島で交易に従事した。彼らの一部はイベリア半島を迂回し、地中海のイスラム勢力と接触ました。
アイスランドは860年頃、ノルウェーのバイキング、ナドドルによって初めて発見されます。彼はノルウェーからフェロー諸島への航海中に航路を外れた。874年、同じくノルウェー人のバイキング、インゴルフル・アルナルソンがアイスランドに定住し、最初の定住者となりました。930年までには、アイスランドには約5万人が住んでいました。アイスランドのヴァイキング、赤毛のエイリクルは、982年頃にグリーンランドを植民地化した。彼は過失致死罪でアイスランドを追放され、定住する新天地を求めて西へ航海した。彼はグリーンランドを発見し、その緑の植物にちなんでデンマーク語でグレーンランド(Grønland)「緑の島」と名付けた。エイリクルの息子レイフ・エリクソンは、1000年頃にアメリカ北東部の海岸を探検した。彼らはその地をヴィンランドと名付けました(以前はVIN=ワインランドが主流だったが近年はVIN=草原説も唱えられている)。レイフがヴィンランドを植民地化したわけではなく、他のヴァイキングが定住したかどうかも詳しくはわかっていなません。 ※1010年ごろにはソルフィン・カルルセフニによる大規模な移住も行われヴァイキングの入植地が建設されたが、本国から距離があったこと(ニューファンドランド島説が正しければ、当時の海岸沿いの航路では、最も近い拠点であるグリーンランドまで3000km)や、アメリカ先住民(スクレリング)との抗争が発生したこと、などの理由により、十年ほどで放棄されたと考えられています。
Swedish Vikings
The eastern expansion was mainly Swedish, and numerous runic inscriptions found in Sweden commemorate compatriots who “died in the East,” with some references to Greece and Sölklund (the eastern part of the Caspian Sea). They settled on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea from the 7th century, and by the 9th century had settled around Lake Ladoga in northern Russia, where they had trading relations mainly with the Byzantine Empire by the Dnieper River and the Black Sea, and with the Muslim states along the Volga River and across the Caspian Sea. The Bertin Chronicle records the Swedes who passed through Russia in 839 and accompanied the Byzantine envoys to visit Louis I (the Pious), and the Proto-Chronicle, compiled in Kiev (now Kiev) around 1112, records that in 862, the Lusi (a Finnish word for Swedes) were called the “Lusitanians”. In the 10th century, the Russians made an expedition to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and acquired various commercial privileges in the territory of the empire. A comparison of the names of the Russians on the trade treaties of 912 and 945 between the two empires reveals their rapid Slavicization process. However, the kinship between the Kievan princes and the Nordic kings, including Aulakh I and Aulakh II, was maintained in the following years. During this period, the Scandinavians who were famous in Kiev and Constantinople as mercenaries or imperial guards were called Varyag, and through them Greek Orthodoxy and Byzantine culture were introduced to Russia and Scandinavia.
Some of them maintained trading relations with the Arabs by going from Novgorod to the great market of Bulgar, a town on the middle Volga River in the 9th century, and then down to the Caspian Sea, where they brought large amounts of Arab silver coins to northern Russia and Sweden from the 9th to mid-10th centuries.
Thorsberg moor 
The Thorsberg Moor, located near Süderbrarup in Germany, is a peat bog that was used by the Angles as a place to deposit votive offerings for approximately four centuries. The finds from the bog are of great importance to our understanding of the Roman Iron Age in Northern Europe. Some of the most notable finds from Thorsberg Moor include early Elder Futhark runic inscriptions, a Roman helmet, a shield buckle, and an early example of socks (attached to trousers). These finds are of similar importance to the contemporaneous finds from Illerup and Vimose in Denmark. The Thorsberg Moor is a valuable archaeological site that provides us with a unique glimpse into the lives of the Angles during the Roman Iron Age. The finds from the bog help us to understand their culture, their religion, and their military practices.
Between approximately 100 BC and 500 AD, deposits were made in what seems to be a votive manner. While these deposits are associated with Thor worship, there is uncertainty about whether they were specifically dedicated to him. The place name suggests that it might have been worshipped by the Danes during the Viking Age rather than the Angles during the Roman Iron Age. The ‘Thor’s hammer’ symbol found on various artifacts at the site is not exclusive to Germanic contexts, as it can also be found on Native American artifacts.
The deposits include a variety of objects such as early examples of clothing, both Germanic and Roman, particularly footed trousers that are now believed to date no later than 300 AD. Roman-made objects like two phaleræ, which are richly decorated gold discs, possibly depicting Mars, were also found. Additionally, there are objects of Germanic origin, including the Thorsberg chape, which bears one of the earliest runic inscriptions.
The Thorsberg chape, for instance, is a silver-gilt mount that was used to decorate the scabbard of a sword. It is inscribed with the name “Harigast” in Elder Futhark runes, which is believed to be the name of the sword’s owner. The Roman helmet found at the site is also a remarkable discovery, as it is one of only a few Roman helmets to have been found in northern Europe. 
In addition to these significant finds, the Thorsberg moor has also yielded a range of other artifacts, including weapons, jewelry, and everyday objects. These discoveries provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who lived in the region during the Roman Iron Age, and have helped to shape our understanding of this important period in European history.
Some of the Germanic fibulæ and shield bosses with Roman origins appear to be associated with Germanic tribes in Greater Germania, who had closer contact with the Romans than the Angles. After around 200 AD, there was an increase in weapon depositions, possibly due to conflicts like the Marcomannic war or Roman campaigns. Many of the deposited objects, especially weapons, were intentionally damaged, broken, or bent, following a common Celtic ritual practice of “killing” such weapons. Apart from weapons and other man-made items, the bog deposits also include isolated bones. Adjacent to the moor, there is an Iron Age tumulus featuring a stone circle.





Fundtafeln der Ausgrabungen 1858–1861 [ Bearbeiten | © wikipedia commons
4th-century Germanic tunic
The German tunic was a type of garment worn by Germanic peoples during the Roman Iron Age. It was a long, loose-fitting garment that was typically made of wool or linen. The tunic had short sleeves and was belted at the waist. It was often decorated with embroidery or other forms of ornamentation. One of the most famous examples of a German tunic is the Thorsberg tunic, which was found in the Thorsberg Moor in Germany. The Thorsberg tunic is made of linen and is decorated with geometric patterns. It is one of the best-preserved examples of a German tunic from the Roman Iron Age.
© wikipedia commons
Pattern of a shirt found in the Thorsberg peat bog.
The German tunic was a versatile garment that could be worn for a variety of purposes. It could be worn as everyday clothing, as formal wear, or as military attire. The tunic was also a popular garment among Germanic women, who often wore it with a skirt or trousers.
The German tunic eventually gave way to the tunica talaris, which was a longer, more fitted garment that was adopted by the Romans. However, the German tunic continued to be worn by Germanic peoples for centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Here are some additional details about the German tunic:

▪️It was typically knee-length or longer.
▪️It could be either sleeveless or have short sleeves.
▪️It was often belted at the waist.
▪️It could be made of wool, linen, or other fabrics.
▪️It was often decorated with embroidery or other forms of ornamentation.



Lendbreen Glacier in Norway tunic
Archaeologists in Norway’s Lendbreen glacier have made a significant discovery—a well-preserved woolen tunic dating back to 300 A.D. Despite its current greenish-brown hue caused by centuries of aging, the tunic still boasts a diamond pattern and shows signs of heavy use, with several repaired patches. The garment, which once belonged to a man approximately 5’9″ tall, was found near the glacier’s edge, resting 6,560 feet above sea level. The circumstances surrounding its abandonment remain mysterious, but one theory suggests that the man may have suffered from hypothermia, a condition that can cause victims to feel hot, even in freezing conditions. Under such delusion, individuals afflicted by hypothermia have been known to shed their clothes.
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Radiocarbon dating confirmed the tunic’s ancient origin, indicating that it was likely left behind along a Roman-era trade route that fell out of use by the 4th century when the region became encased in ice. The effects of warming global temperatures have led to the rapid melting of the glacier, exposing long-forgotten artifacts frozen within its icy depths. While this environmental disaster proves beneficial to archaeology, there is a limited window for recovering organic artifacts. Once exposed to air, they begin to decay rapidly. Unfortunately, the melting process exposes them to water runoff, which transitions them from the preserving embrace of ice to the destructive effects of water, causing rapid deterioration. While wooden artifacts might survive a few years before rotting, ancient textiles are particularly vulnerable and can be destroyed by insects and bacteria within a matter of weeks. As such, swift action is necessary to preserve these invaluable relics from the past.Radiocarbon dating confirmed the tunic’s ancient origin, indicating that it was likely left behind along a Roman-era trade route that fell out of use by the 4th century when the region became encased in ice. The effects of warming global temperatures have led to the rapid melting of the glacier, exposing long-forgotten artifacts frozen within its icy depths. While this environmental disaster proves beneficial to archaeology, there is a limited window for recovering organic artifacts. Once exposed to air, they begin to decay rapidly. Unfortunately, the melting process exposes them to water runoff, which transitions them from the preserving embrace of ice to the destructive effects of water, causing rapid deterioration. While wooden artifacts might survive a few years before rotting, ancient textiles are particularly vulnerable and can be destroyed by insects and bacteria within a matter of weeks. As such, swift action is necessary to preserve these invaluable relics from the past.
ノルウェーのレンドブリーン氷河で作業していた考古学者が、紀元300年頃の無傷のウールのチュニックを発見しました。このチュニックは、現在は緑がかった茶色で、何世紀もかけて黒ずんでいました。この衣服は身長170センチほどの男性がアウターとして使用していたもので、海抜6,560メートルの氷河のすぐそばで謎めいた理由で脱いでしまったということです。一説によると、凍てつくような吹雪の中でも暑さを感じる低体温症にかかったという。(低体温症の被害者は、自分が暑いと錯覚して服を脱ぐことが知られている。) このチュニックの年代は放射性炭素年代測定によって確認され、考古学者たちは、この地域が氷結した4世紀に使われなくなったローマ時代の交易路沿いに残されていたと考えています。温暖化によって氷河は驚くべき速さで溶けており、何世紀にもわたって氷の中に閉じ込められていた古代の遺物が露出しています。空気に触れるとすぐに腐敗が始まり、流出水によって露出するため、氷の保護から水の腐敗の締め付けにさらされることになる。木材は腐るのに数年かかるが、古代の織物は数週間で昆虫やバクテリアによってすぐに破壊されてしますからです。
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Woven on warp weighted loom between 230 and 390 AD.
The Lendbreen glacier in Oppland, Norway. Photo: Vivian Wangen. In August 2011, archaeologists from Oppland’s Glacier Archaeology Rescue Program were conducting surveys approximately 1900m asl, on the Lendbreen glacier, Lomseggen,in Oppland County, Norway, when they encountered what appeared to be a crumpled-up piece of textile approximately 0.58x 0.29m in size . It lay in a pit at the upper edge of the ice patch on the surface of barren scree, exposed by thawing,and appeared randomly bundled up rather than intentionally folded. It bore traces of closeassociation with horse dung

When unfolded and studied, it proved to be a very well-preserved tunic, its fabric partly bleached where exposed to the sun and wind . Radiocarbon dating shows thatthe tunic was made between AD 230 and 390 (Tamers & Hood 2011; Figure 4). Only a handful of well-preserved tunics from this period have been found in Europe, and thereforethe new find is of great significance for dress and textile production and how these reflectthe interplay between northern Europe and the Roman world.

Nootherartefactswerefoundintheimmediatesurroundings,andthetextileisconsideredan isolated find with no demonstrable relationship to other objects found on the site sofar. The area of the find has been used for hunting over a long period up to moderntimes. Weapons, hunting and camping equipment and horse dung, as well as a variety of personal gear including textile remains, are among the finds that now emerge from the ice. At Lendbreen, a large variety and number of artefacts from different periods have beenrecovered, most of them connected to ancient hunting strategies, such as so-called ‘scaring sticks’. 

©Antiquity Publications Ltd.
©Antiquity Publications Ltd.
Examinations with a Scanning Electron Microscope and light microscopy show that thefibres of the material are generally very well preserved: they are still rounded and scalesare visible (Rast-Eicher 2011: 1). Two different fabrics are present and the fibre tips indicatethat both were made of lamb’s wool or wool from adult sheep moulting annually. Fibrediameters are exceptionally fine in parts of both the sleeves and the body, but a few thick fibresarevisiblehereandthere.Thisisduetocarefulsortingofthewool.Includingacertainamount of long, coarser fibres probably made spinning easier. The high proportion of thinand delicate fibres results in a soft, high-quality product. The largest difference in quality isbetween warp and weft in the main fabric. The warp is made of fine white wool with thick fibres in brown and black. The light weft contains no traces of coarse fibres, while the dark weft is made of a coarser selection of wool. There is no doubt that the wool was carefully chosen for both fabrics, and that both quality and natural pigmentation were taken into consideration.
The body section of the tunic is woven in 2/2 diamond twill. The same fabricis also used in the smaller of the two patches on the back. Due to uneven exposure to thesun, the textile surface colour appears patchy, but a closer look reveals that the fabric been deliberately and evenly mottled. Thiseffect is caused by the weft, consisting of two light and two dark brown alternating threads made of naturally pigmented woolin shades of light beige and dark brown.Whilethedarkyarnsare generally z-twisted, the light weft yarnsshift to s-twisted in an area near the loweredge. The warp consistently holds the samecolour as the light weft. The alternating colouration of the weft causes the diamondpattern to almost disappear. It is barely visible when the fabric is dry. A weaving fault(fourlightweftthreadsinsteadoftwo)runs all the way around the mid-section of the body sheet. The diamond twill patternisirregular,reversingafterbetween8and11threads in the warp-direction and between12and30threadsintheweftdirection.The warp runs vertically through the garment.Thesleevesaremadefroma2/2diamondtwill, but a different fabric than the body section.Thefabricisaslightlylightershadeas threads in one system are less pigmented.The twist direction is z/s in the right sleeve.However, an area above the longitudinalseam in the left sleeve shows shifting twistdirections in one thread system, probably the weft. The pattern unit is also uneven in thisfabric. Shifts in the pattern appear after 10–17 threads in one thread system and after 10–14threads in the second. Atabletwovenbandontheinsideofthesideseaminthebodysectionwasmadewithfourtablets. Both light brown z-twisted wool yarn and a darker brown yarn with corresponding spinning are used. The band is hidden inside the tunic and only visible from the reverse.Narrow tablet-woven edges of this type are quite common in Roman period textiles andappeartohavebeenusedbothforstartingbordersand,asinthiscase,forselvedges
チュニックの身頃部分は2/2ダイヤツイルで織られています。背中の2つのパッチのうち小さい方にも同じ生地が使われています。日光の当たり方にムラがあるため、織物表面の色は斑点状に見えるが、よく見ると意図的に均一な斑点が付けられていることがわかります。この現象は緯糸に起因するもので、明るいベージュとダークブラウンの濃淡の天然色素を含むウールから作られた2本の明るい緯糸と2本の暗い緯糸が交互に撚られています。タテ糸は一貫して明るい緯糸と同じ色を保っています。緯糸が交互に色を変えることで、菱形模様はほとんど消えます。生地が乾くと、ほとんど見えなくなります。身頃の中央部には、織断層(2本の緯糸の代わりに4本の細い緯糸)が走っています。ダイアモンド・ツイルのパターンは不規則で、タテ糸は8~11本、ヨコ糸は12~30本で反転しています。 右袖の撚り方向はZ/Sだが、左袖の縦方向の縫い目の上の部分には、おそらく緯糸と思われる1本の糸の撚り方向がずれています。この生地では柄の単位も不揃いです。柄のずれは片方の糸系では10~17本後、もう片方の糸系では10~14本後に現れています。胴体部分のサイド・シームの内側にある織帯は、4本のタブレットで作られています。明るい茶色のZ撚りのウール糸と、それに対応する紡績の濃い茶色の糸の両方が使われています。帯はチュニックの内側に隠れており、裏側からしか見えない。この種の狭いタブレット織りの縁は、ローマ時代の織物ではごく一般的なもので、ボーダーの始まりにも、今回のように縁取りにも使われたようです。
Form of the garment
Thetunicisrelativelyshortandconstructedfromasimplecut.Thechestgirth measures approximately 1.08m. By modern size standards, the tunic would thus fit a slender man, 1.7–1.76m in height.Some parts bear traces of hard wear and tear, especially the areas around sleeve openings,the hip area and at the back. Some parts of the lower edge and neck opening, as well as both sleeves, are also fragmented. The main body section is in one piece. The sleeves were setin curved sleeve openings. The body section is slightly broader toward the lower end. Thiseffect was achieved by cutting the fabric on top of the sleeve openings and then making a hem on each side.The body section is folded on the wearer’s right side and has a seam on the left. The neck opening is a so-called boat neck, a flat, straight neckline with simple folds at the front and back.Theforwardpositionoftheshoulderseamsresultsinasmallupraisedrimatthebackof theneckopening,about40mmhigherthantheshoulderseams(B).Thesleeveopeningsare curved. They are relatively narrow, only 0.21m wide from the armpit to the topof the shoulder. The openings are folded with a 10mm wide double hem (C). Thesleeves were sewn on to the main part witha different quality of thread (D). The lowerpart of the tunic gives the impression of a well-used garment, repaired at least twice.The lower edge of the back is even andhemmed (E). The hem E is fragmented inseveral places, but the edges themselves areonly moderately damaged in these parts. Atthe front of the tunic, the edges are unevenand shredded. Both sleeves are partly tornoff, now measuring 0.2–0.26m from theshoulder.Theremainingpartsofthesleevesare narrow and tube-formed, made of a single piece of fabric joined along the back with a seam running approximately 50mmfrom the back part of the shoulder andsloping slightly forward at the lower end(G). The left sleeve has a nearly rectangularfragmented area in the lower part.The tunic has been repaired with two patches. The square patch (1) is made from thesame fabric as the body part of the tunic. The patch was sewn on from the reverse (H). A similar seam placed approximately 50mm outside the first holds the patch in place. Toreinforce this, another larger patch (2) was put on top of the first, also on the reverse. It isnot visible from the right, although it covers approximately 0.24×0.41m


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During the Viking era, silk held great value and was considered a precious commodity among them. The evidence of its significance can be seen in how it was carefully cut into strips and used as decorative borders on jackets, caftans, and dresses. Numerous Viking graves, such as those discovered in Birka, Sweden, contained fragments of silk among other preserved textiles. Marianne Vedeler, from the Museum of Archaeology in Oslo, has dedicated the past four years to studying these fragments of Viking silk, with a particular focus on the silk-stripes found in the renowned Oseberg Viking ship burial from 834 AD. This burial site yielded an exceptionally diverse collection of silk, with over 15 different textiles identified, and it also included locally-produced silk for tablet-woven bands and embroidery.
When the Oseberg Silks were initially discovered in 1904-05, the colors were vibrant, and the patterns were easily recognizable, as evidenced by aquarelle sketches created by Sofie Krafft. However, over time, the colors faded, and the patterns became indistinguishable. In recent years, renewed efforts to study the silks have been undertaken to assess the original illustrations and gather additional information about the patterns. Detailed analysis of the fragments revealed that the silk was likely obtained directly from Persia and not through Byzantium. Moreover, it did not belong to the highest quality, which was typically acquired as diplomatic gifts. Some of the silk may have been acquired through Viking raids and might have been part of church vestments. Nonetheless, various other locations in the Nordic countries have also yielded Viking Age silk finds since the discovery at Oseberg. Notably, the presence of silk in graves from the 9th and 10th centuries suggests that a significant portion of it was obtained through trade along the Russian rivers.
Marianne Vedeler’s research findings are currently being prepared for publication in a new book scheduled for 2014. The book delves not only into the properties of silk but also explores the trade routes and the organization of silk production, trade, and consumption during the Viking Age. It provides insights into the main trade routes through which silk reached Scandinavia via the Russian rivers, as well as comparable silk finds in Russia. The book also examines the production and regulation of silk in Persia, early Islamic production areas, and the Byzantine Empire. Lastly, it discusses the role of silk as a social actor within various contexts in Viking societies, drawing comparisons with Christian western societies.
1904年から05年にかけてオーセベリ・シルクが発見されたときには、色彩はまだ鮮やかで、模様はソフィー・クラフトが描いたアクアレルのスケッチからも容易に見て取ることができました。その後、色あせが進み、現在では柄を直接見ることはできません。オリジナルの図版を評価し、柄に関するさらなる情報を見つけることが可能かどうかを確認するために、シルクは再び熱心に研究されてきました。 これらの断片を詳細に分析した結果、絹織物はビザンティウムではなくペルシャで直接購入された可能性があること、外交的な贈答品としてのみ入手可能な最高級品ではないことが判明しました。ヴァイキングの襲撃で略奪され、教会の法衣の一部として使われたものもあったかもしれません。 しかし、オーセベリの発掘以来、ヴァイキング時代の絹織物が北欧諸国の他のいくつかの場所で見つかっています。最後の発見は、2年前にノールランド県ハマロイ市のネスで行われた。ノルウェーでは他に、ヴェストフォル県のGokstad、スンメレ県のSandanger、オストフォル県のNedre Haugenでヴァイキング時代の絹が発見されています。しかし、9世紀から10世紀にかけての墓の中に広く分布していたことから、そのほとんどはロシア河川沿いの交易の一環として入手されたものであったに違いありません。
Silk for the Vikings @AMAZON

The history of sheep breeding.

Sheep breeding began around 11,000 years ago for wool and meat. Selective breeding led to different breeds adapted to different environments and purposes. The Industrial Revolution led to increased demand for wool and the development of specialized breeds.

My favourite linen fine stories.

Linen is a fabric that has been used for clothing, bedding, and other household items for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of linen production dates back to around 4,000 BCE in Egypt, where the fabric was used for clothing and burial shrouds.Linen was highly valued in ancient societies for its coolness, durability, and luxurious appearance. It was also used for sailcloth, and the linen sails of ancient Phoenician ships were highly prized for their strength and ability to catch the wind.