The Vikings played ball, lifted stones and wrestled. Often the games turned violent and bloody, occasionally resulting in death.
When Viking men played their games, the women watched - except in drinking games. This is a scene from at saga play in Steigen, Norway. (Photo: Mari Pedersen)Life in the Viking Age was tough and hard, and physical work filled much of their days, but their lives were not without leisure.
In a new study, Leszek Gardela uses archaeological findings and careful reading of Viking sagas to describe how Vikings killed time when they were in mood for entertainment.
The archaeologist paints a vivid picture of Viking life, but the familiarity of many of the activities suggests that while Vikings had shorter lives and arguably vented their frustrations in more violent ways than what most people do today, leisure time in the Viking Age was not too different from leisure time in 2012.
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