HERE’S AN INTERESTING ONE FOR READERS. A couple of years back my brother (the one making whisky) got a lift home to Islay from Crinan on Gaia, a Viking long boat, built at the Vikingeskibsmuseets Bådeværft.

RoskildeEach year, some 130,000 people visit the Viking Ship Museum at Roskilde in Denmark. You can also see these boats being built at the nearby naval shipyard by artisans dedicated to preserving the maritime craftsmanship associated with these vessels. The shipyard specialises in the reconstruction of full size prehistoric boats using traditional methods, builds new boats based on ancient traditions, and restores and repairs boats worth preserving. 9,000 years ago, Denmark, Sweden and England formed one continent and the Baltic Sea was a fresh water lake.

Under the responsibility of the National Museum of Denmark, the Viking Ship Museum also carries out submarine archaeological digs going boldly where other museums fear to tread water; the majority of finds are ship wrecks and inhabited Mesolithic sites. Navigation in these parts can be perilous – narrow straits, violent winds and heavy seas.

To date, around 20,000 Mesolithic wrecks have been found in Danish seas. Fun, don’t you think?


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