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12.11.2019

Skeid

Skeid (skeið), meaning ‘slider’ (referring to a sley, a weavers reed, or to a sheath that a knife slides into) and probably connoting ‘speeder’ (referring to a running race) (Zoega, Old Icelandic Dictionary). These ships were larger warships, consisting of more than 30 rowing benches. Ships of this classification are some of the largest (see Busse) longships ever discovered. A group of these ships were discovered by Danish archaeologists in Roskilde during development in the harbour-area in 1962 and 1996–97. The ship discovered in 1962, Skuldelev 2 is an oak-built Skeid longship. It is believed to have been built in the Dublin area around 1042. Skuldelev 2 could carry a crew of some 70–80 and measures just less than 30 m (98 feet) in length. They had around 30 rowing chairs. In 1996–97 archaeologists discovered the remains of another ship in the harbour. This ship, called the Roskilde 6, at 37 m (121 feet) is the longest Viking ship ever discovered and has been dated to around 1025. Skuldelev 2 was replicated as Seastallion from Glendalough at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and launched in 2004. In 2012, a 35-metre long skeid longship named Draken Harald Hårfagre was launched in Norway. It was built from scratch by experts, using original Viking and experimental archaeological methods.

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