Topic 7 Population structure and nature
18,000 years ago Norway was covered in ice. It gradually got warmer, the ice melted and the first people to arrive here wandered over the ice from Germany about 11,000 years ago. They lived by hunting animals. They used stone to make tools and their clothes were made from animal skins. We call this era the Stone Age.
Over time the climate got warmer and great forests grew. The people began to cultivate the land and keep domesticated animals. They learned to spin and weave, and made clothes from sheep’s wool. They made knives, axes and other tools from iron. Extended families lived together. The grandfather was the head man on the farm. An extended family like this was called a clan. Everybody was provided with security, protection and help by their clan. Disputes between the clans were resolved by a kind of court called a thing, or “ting” in Norwegian. Some clans became rich and powerful, and traded with other European peoples.
In 793, Norwegians attacked the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne off the east coast of Northern England. For the first time, people from the Nordic region played an important role in European history. Swedes, Danes and Norwegians had good ships and set out on long sea voyages. They were called Vikings. They traded, plundered, fought and took slaves. The Vikings had their own religion and many gods. Many Vikings left Norway and settled in other places.
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