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Date > 1000

Subject > Weapons, Equipment and Fortifications

Norman (or Viking) axeman, 10th century

Type: Image

This Norman (or Viking) axe man holds a Danish style battle axe. Vikings were also called ‘Norman’ — men of the north — by the Dark Ages French. A large group of Vikings occupied and settled on the north-western coast of France in what became Normandy. This is the region from which many of the French settlers to New France came in the 17th century. It is also where the Canadian Army landed on D-Day on 6 June 1944. Print after Viollet-Leduc from the Bayeux tapestry.

Site: National Defence

Viking ships, circa 1000

Type: Image

The sleek design of these ships made them the fastest, most seaworthy craft of their time. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

A view of a Viking settlement in America

Type: Image

This view was conceived during the 1930s by historical artist Fergus Kyle (1876-1941). Although we now know that Viking helmets did not have horns, as shown here and in countless other images in popular art, most of the other details shown give a relatively realistic impression of what such a settlement might look like. The Vikings also could build timber houses as well as ones made of earth.

Site: National Defence

Norman (or Viking) helmet, 10th century

Type: Image

Norman (or Viking) helmets typically had a nose guard such as the one seen here. Contrary to popular belief, Viking helmets had no horns. Print after Viollet-Leduc.

Site: National Defence

A Norman (or Viking) warrior wielding a battle axe

Type: Image

This Norman (or Viking) warrior wears the typical ‘Norman’ type helmet with its nose guard and a coat of mail. Vestiges of chain mail have been found in the Canadian Arctic. Print after Viollet-Leduc from the Bayeux tapestry.

Site: National Defence

Fragments of a Viking coat of mail (right) and iron rivets (left)

Type: Image

These objects of Viking origin were found during excavations on Ellesmere and Baffin islands. Fragments of a coat of mail are shown on the right, and iron rivets on the left. Also to be seen are part of a bowl (top) and the arm of a scale with bronze hinges (centre). (Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau)

Site: National Defence