Nachdem Jahrzehnte lang (vergeblich?) versucht wurde, abseits des kriegerischen (zwar böse, aber irgendwie sexy) nun den friedlichen Bauern- und Händlercharakter der Wikinger mehr in den Vordergrund zu stellen, jetzt der Rückschlag: Waren sie vor Allem Mädchen- und Sklavenhändler? Und sind die eingeschliffenen Rillen in den Vorderzähnen männlicher Toter entgegen früherer Interpretationen kein Zeichen einer Elite-Kriegerkaste, sondern vielleicht doch für alle sichtbares Zeichen des Sklaven-Status?
“This was a slave economy,” said Neil Price, an archaeologist at Sweden’s Uppsala University who spoke at a recent meeting that brought together archaeologists who study slavery and colonization. “Slavery has received hardly any attention in the past 30 years, but now we have opportunities using archaeological tools to change this.”
One key factor may have been a dire need for women.
Some scholars believe that the Vikings were a polygamous society that made it hard for non-elites to find brides. That may have driven the raids and ambitious exploration voyages for which Vikings are best known. Some genetic studies, for example, suggest that a majority of Icelandic women are related to Scottish and Irish ancestors who likely were raid booty.
As Viking fleets expanded, so did the need for wool to produce the sails necessary to power the ships. This also may have driven the need for slaves. “There was a significant shift in agriculture,” said Price. The pressing need for wool production likely led to a plantation-like economy, a topic now being studied by researchers.
Elise Naumann, an archaeologist at the University of Oslo, recently discovered that decapitated bodies found in several Viking tombs likely were not related to the other remains. This lack of kinship, combined with signs of mistreatment, make it likely that they were slaves sacrificed at the death of their masters, a practice mentioned in Viking sagas and Arab chronicles.
The bones also revealed a diet based heavily on fish, while their masters dined more heartily on meat and dairy products.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015 ... chaeology/
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