:: The Vikings of Bjornstad ::
Viking Museum Haithabu
Schleswig, Germany - 2009
The Museum's Web site
The Viking Museum Haithabu is near the site of Hedeby/Haithabu, a major Viking era village and trading center on the Jutland peninsula close to the border between Germany and Denmark.  The museum includes a substantial collection of original artifacts and reconstructed buildings representing a small fraction of the town the Vikings would have known.  These photos are courtesy of Bryan and Helma Betts. Click here to see their full collection of photos in the original, larger format.  The captions accompanying the photos - and any errors they convey - are entirely mine.

Reconstructed buildings on the site of Hedeby/Haithabu.  The original town would have extended to the tree line beyond.

An almost perfect setting.

Pottery.  Notice the pouring spout on the bowl at lower left.

Everyday articles have never needed to be perfect, but people have always wanted some decoration.

A soapstone bowl at upper right and clay bowl in the foreground.

From left: Pflaumen (plums), Kirschen (cherries), Bucheckern (beechnuts), Haselnüsse (hazelnuts), Schlehen (sloes/blackthorns).

Auger bits above left.  The blocks indicate the size of the resulting holes.

A good indication of the lengths of Viking bows and arrows.

Viking axes, spurs, stirrups and spear points.

Viking swords.

A beautifully decorated sword.

The design recreated.

Sword designs varied by period, locality, wealth and taste.

Another design.

Cord points and belt buckles.

Three- and five-lobed pommels.

Sword pommel.

Crossguard detail.

Pommel and crossguard, iron with copper and silver inlays.

Seax blades.

Hose and leggings.

Google translation of the label at left: "Leggings and hosiery (hosa) belonged to the men's costumes, and were worn with short pants or tunic as Gewädern. Gamaschenbänder were wrapped around the calves. Gamaschenbänder were woven into various weave. Bands of outstanding quality are preferably made in pointed twill".

The label indicates that wooden shoe lasts and leather scraps demonstrate that shoes of at least ten different patterns were made in Hedeby - usually of goatskin.

Recreated ankle shoe.

Recreated boot.  Period and gender?

Ankle shoes - without the heel triangle of the Jorvik finds.

Knife sheath.

Knife with sheath.

Fabric remains and probable clothing designs.

Described as very fine woolen crepe "bloomers".

The Klappenrock jacket.

Decoration recreated.

Coins - Arabic along the bottom and an Aethelred at top.

A bronze piece.

Cast bits.

Celtic-influenced design.

High quality metal work.

A gripping beast amulet.

Ring pins.

Dragon-headed pin.

Bronze beast.

Beautifully designed and cast tortoise brooch.

Unusual floral design.

Two-part pin.

Brooches and pendants.

Decorative bits.

At left: a thousand year old Jack-O-Lantern?

A mounted warrior and a shield maiden?

Thor's hammers.

Beads - apparently of a length to be worn from matching tortoise brooches.

A wide array of glass and stone beads.

A brass-coated weight for use with a trader's scales.

Trader's weights - in a neatly organized distribution.

The graph demonstrates how standardized the weight system may have been.


Belt buckle.

Some designs show a Christian influence.

The number of similar pieces suggests a substantial metal-working industry.

Storage container - probably for shipboard transportation.

Key for a chest's lock.

The Skarði runestone, translated as: "King Sweyn (Forkbeard) set this stone in memory of Skarði, his huscarl, who fared in the west, but met his death at Hedeby".

Just a tree, but a really interesting tree.

Reconstruction of a small building.

Interlocked timber construction.

Hedeby in the 9th century would have filled much of the open area where the buildings now stand.

Wattle fences.

Viking age subdivision.

Feast hall.

Timber framed interior.

The buildings have straight sides - unlike the Stöng longhouse in Iceland.


Cooking tripod.

The animals' end of the house.

The door.

Bed linens and central heating.

Unvented oven.

The work area.

Street with the canvas-enclosed booths of modern traders beyond.
  ©   For information contact Jack Garrett at info@vikingsofbjornstad.com