In 2009, archaeologists excavated one of the largest Viking age buildings, a royal hall in Lejre, Denmark. In order to reconstruct the 60 meters long, oval-shaped longhouse made of oak, archaeologists are digging deeper into the lives of the Vikings. While a lot maybe speculation, it is evident that the Vikings – from painting their faces to their shields and boats – loved colours.
Most believe that relics, uncovered over the years, might serve as hints to what colours the Vikings used to paint their buildings. A range of wooden objects have retained hues of white, red, black and yellow. Interesting theories were debated during the “Farverige Vikinger” (Colourful Vikings) seminar held last month.
Royal White Paint
The wooden houses and the royal halls are speculated to have been painted white from the remains of clay with white chalk according to Josephine Frank Bican, a research assistant at the National Museum of Denmark. This would make sense as white houses would be visible from a distance, making suitable landmarks and a status symbol. Indoor and outdoor chalking would serve as efficient insulation and provide better indoor climate. The theory was debated as white houses would not make for good landmarks in a dark and snowy Scandinavian winter.
Vibrant Primary Colours
Both archeological findings and Norse sagas document the Vikings’ strong use of colours. Ships, equipment, shields and even sails were painted in strong colours of blue, red and yellow. The Osberg burial chamber was vibrantly decorated with colourful tapestries as Vikings were a celebratory people, who would always want to add a sense of aesthetic value to their surroundings.
The colours of your walls, which enclose you every day, play a part in human psychology – whether it is calming your senses, aiding in creativity or making a guest’s visit to your home more memorable. Moreover, paint colours and materials also have a functional aspect of positively or negatively, contributing to indoor temperatures. With the vast amount of information available, aesthetic evolution and design options, you can make the right choice for your home.
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