January 20, 2013

Well, maybe they were bathing in beer

Filed under: Vikings! — acagle @ 11:20 am

Which would be a horrendous waste of beer, IMO: Archaeologists Mistake Viking Brewhouses For Bathhouses

For years, archaeologists studying Viking remnants and artifacts in Britain had assumed that certain stone structures were bathhouses, or a kind of primitive sauna. But a husband-and-wife team has now thrown this thinking into question by suggesting that they weren’t bathhouses at all — that they were brewhouses where the Vikings made their beer.

Archaeologists know that Vikings loved their ale; the Sagas contain a slew of references. And in the 10th century, Haakon Haroldson, the first Christian king of Norway, decreed that Yule be celebrated on Christmas day and that “every farmstead should brew two meals of malt into ale.” In fact, brewing ale was so important that there were fines for non-compliance; failure to brew beer for three years in a row could result in the forfeiture of a farm.

Can’t really comment, but it makes more sense to me than a bath house, mainly because I’ve never heard of Vikings having bath houses. PDF of the poster is here, BTW.


  1. Recollect, iirc, Morris in “The Age of Arthur” saying that Saxon women were attracted to Danish men because the latter bathed at least once a year. Unlike the local talent.

    Comment by Richard Aubrey — January 23, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  2. Once a year whether they needed it or not!

    Comment by acagle — January 24, 2013 @ 11:50 am

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