The Vikings Styled Their Teeth For No Clear Reasons

Posted by Ms Elly on

The Vikings Styled Their Teeth For No Clear Reasons

The interpretation of the Vikings as the brutal and filthy raiders was extremely narrow. The majority of the Vikings were farmers and traders, in fact. Many of them led a very peaceful life. The Vikings paid much attention to their appearance and hygiene. Anything that the Vikings chose to do to their body meant a social beauty standard of their times like to dye their hair or wear red. In the past, the Vikings styled their teeth bu by far we haven't figured out the main purpose of this. 

The Vikings filed their teeth

Viking archaeological Viking discoveries revealed that the Vikings once filed their teeth. Many skeletons found in the Viking archaeological sites had the carving on their teeth. Cool thing is that the carving was created with a great precision. The process of this was to deliberately carve the straight lines onto the teeth of the Viking. The carving was so precise and straight that the scientists thought it was the artwork of talented craftsmen. The process was too difficult for a person to do it themselves.

Image of Viking teeth Viking tradition Vikings

Viking teeth found in England

Any reasons for this action of styling their teeth?

In 2009, the archaeologists found out a mass grave containing 54 Viking men buried together in Weymouth, England. They might have been the Viking raiders around the 11th century and all might have died because of an attack. What surprised the archaeologists the most was many of the skeletons had the straight carving on their teeth. The lines were very carefully carved and they all were deliberately done. The precision of the carving was so great that it astonished the archaeologists. 

The purpose of this carving had remained unknown by far. But the Vikings buried were the warriors so the teeth carves might have been used to scare the enemies off. They all knew that to get such fashionable carving, the Viking warriors had to experience an unpleasant time. Because whatever it might be, it was a form of tattoo into the bones. 

A discovery of skeletons in thе Viking cemetery аt Kopparsvik, Gotland also had the same teeth carving. Studies showed that such markings were different from regions to regions and from time to time. Some might have four straight lines while some might have only two. 

Image of Viking teeth Viking tradition Vikings

Marks on the teeth belonged to the Vikings found in Sweden

Did the Vikings learn the dental modification from other tribes?

For many years, people across the globe had been modifying their tooth. Among the oldest cases was the tooth modification coming from Mexico dating back to 1400 BC. Scholars said that the Vikings might have learnt this skill from the people of different tribes or regions. 

The Vikings were famous for their learning habits so even if they learnt how to fashion their teeth, it wouldn't astonish us much. But in fact, we all think the Vikings would rob of gold, silver, or slave, not the facial modification. 

Some believed that the Vikings become aware of the dental modification since they encountered the West Africans during their voyage. But in the past, the Africans sharpened their teeth into points. So it becomes quite unclear and mysterious for us to answer the question who, when, and how the Vikings learnt the dental modification. 

Anway, the Vikings were the first to show the traces of dental modification among all tribes in Europe. 

Read more about the Viking Tradition HERE

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