The Viking Era has received a lot of attention in recent years because of the Millennium.

The Vikings were farmers, fishermen, craftsmen and traders as well as raiders. They were master ship builders, but they didn't become so overnight. Boats and ships were important for transportation, travel and fishing for thousands of years before the Vikings.

The first boats were hollowed out tree trunks. These boats (right and below) were used in Scandinavia during a period called the Hunter Stone Age, more than 5000 years before the Viking era.

Later, boats were made of planks.

The boats in the pictures above are reconstructions located in the Stone Age Village at Höör in southern Sweden.

Petroglyphs of boats can be found on flat rocks. These pictures from the Bronze age (1800 – 500 B.C.) were carved on a rock at Simris in southern Sweden more than 2,500 years ago, about 1,500 years before the Vikings.