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Viking Expansion Triggered by Shortage of Wives?

VikingsViking Age is the term denoting the years from about 700 to 1066 in European history. During this period, Scandinavians sailed the whole of the North Atlantic and discovered Iceland and Greenland, and settled parts of England, Scotland, Ireland and Normandy. The reasons for this extraordinary outpouring of peoples from Scandinavia have been debated ever since the Viking Age. Researcher James Barrett, deputy director of Cambridge University’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, comes with an answer for the century old question. According to his new research, the young warriors were driven to seek their fortunes to better their chances of finding wives. He argues that selective killing of female newborns in the Scandinavian society led to a shortage of women in the first place, resulting later in intense competition over eligible women.


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