The Gokstad: A Sturday Viking Ship

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The Gokstad was a sturdy Viking ship. It was made to glide through the water. Layers of wood on the side of the ship helped make it water tight. The rudder was technologically evolved. Oar holes were specially designed for the person inside the boat. Storage on the deck was easy because of loose planking. The Gokstad was complicated from stem to stern.
The Gokstad was a burial ship. The main reason it was discovered was because the Vikings were Pagan. Pagans were either cremated or buried with things they would need in the next life. If they were rich enough, their ship would be buried with them.
The Gokstad was built around 900 A.D. and was discovered in Norway in the year 1880. The ship was buried underground. Its contents consisted of the owner of the ship, his livestock and belongings. The ship was complete except for the upper stem and stern which had rotted away and the mast which had been cut to prevent it from protruding through the dirt.
The ship was a little more than 76 feet long, had and a maximum width of 17 feet. The height from the keel to the gunwale amidship was 7 feet. It is estimated that the weight of the hull, fully equipped, was 20 tons. It had a strong mast support and 16 pairs of oars. It was a sturdy ship which was built from a straight oak tree that was at least 80 feet tall.
The ship's backbone, or keel, was slightly curved so it would be thicker and deeper in the middle, which is where the largest amount of weight would be put. The tapering at the end of the ship allowed it to glide through the water.
Planks that made the bottom and side “skin” of a wooden ship were called strakes. Strakes overlap each other. Where they overlapped was called a clink. A clinker-made ship could have thin planking, while being water tight. Strakes at the bottom of the Gokstad were only 1 inch thick, and slightly tapered at the edges. A groove was cut along the lower edge of each strake and was packed with tarre…