In the middle of the world was a farm. The farm itself. The farmhouse and its land was in the center both in the daily reality and in people’s worldview. At the core of the house was warmth, and friends. In the open countryside around it was farmland, other farms and villages. But around it were large forests or oceans, and here the world ended for most people.
Reconstruction of a Viking house from 1000’s of High, Sweden.
Living on a farm means to monitor the animals and the arable annual timetables.Ploughing, sowing, harvesting. The animals were to and from work. You have to store up food and feed for the winter. It was on the farm most of Viking life was lived.
The farm in the middle
The Norse mythology tells us that humans and gods lived in Middle Earth. It means “courtyard in the middle”. Middle Earth was in the mythology of the civilized world, and rather an urban landscape – a community – than an isolated farm. Outside Middle-earth was unknown land of monsters such as giants.
Worldview and Rural
This world is easily understandable by the light of the settlement pattern looked like in Scandinavia. There were many small agricultural regions (Middle Earth) which was separated by large undeveloped areas, often deep forests. The farm lands and most of all the farm itself was at the center is not surprising because this is where life was lived.
Farm and village
Farms could be alone or in villages. In densely populated major agricultural areas of the villages seems to have been the most common, while lonely farms was probably typical of the more sparsely populated areas. Farms appearance, construction method, and how many houses of different varieties they covered ranged from different areas. The most common was that it was a bit bigger houses surrounded by a few small houses.
The house in Bjärred
In a small village in Bjärred in western Skåne was in the 800s a house. It was 21 meters long and 6.5 meters wide. That means a living area of 136.5 square feet and does not seem so bad for a large family of perhaps 70-10 people. But the house would probably also hold some cattle. Even if you had a proper demarcation of stable part so you could not get out of animal smells and sounds.
The frame of the house were two rows of sparsely covered large wooden posts. On these pillars rested the roof’s weight. A large number of wall poles had been knocked down on the takbärande poles. Between the wall poles intertwined branches which are then underlined with clay and perhaps fertilizer. So you had to own walls. In some places the walls were built entirely of wood or of stone and earth. The roof was a branch works as being covered with straw or reeds. In the middle of the house was the hearth and that was its main point. From there came light, heat, and it was here the food was cooked.
Viking ceramic vessels from Köpingsvik,
Köpings parish, Öland.
The furniture in a Viking houses were few. Along the walls were probably low benches. On the floor there were maybe some rough chairs, tables and benches. Coffins and baskets couldused for storage. Of course there were a lot of little things as tools, pots, ceramic cooking and storage, textiles of various kinds, wooden barrels to eat at. Textile equipment of various kinds shows that crafts such as spinning wool and weaving was done indoors.
Outside the house in Bjärred was one yard. Here was a small house that’s been around a house. There was also a very small house, the floor lowered into the ground. Such houses, or rather earth huts, called grophus and is often circular with a diameter of like that two to three meters. Pit houses seem mostly to have been used for crafts. Many have been found in textile equipment. Some were tanks.
Many Viking houses and parts of the farms have been excavated by archaeologists. In Denmark, the whole village unearthed. The most famous was at Vorbasse in Jutland.From here you can get an impression of how a large Viking agricultural village looked like.
Livestock and crops
Wooden plows from Tibble, Björnlunda parish,
Södermanland.Inventarienr 26022ndThe common was that they were involved in both livestock and agriculture. Pigs, cattle and sheep were ordinary domestic animals on farms. Plows were not, but the most important tool was årdret and it was used to loosen the soil, topsoil down the seed, remove weeds and break up the stubble after harvest. Årdret a traction tool that could be drawn by one or two oxen, cows, horses or people. Ardres was reinforced with iron in the lead – a årderbill. For reaping and mowing had scythes and sickles.