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Despite archaeological finds of Viking Age ships, we are mainly dependant on contemporary illustrations for our knowledge of their sails and rigging.

Fortunately, a number of picture stones from the island of Gotland give us some information about the shape of the sails.

<p>Over 400 picture stones have been discovered on the Island of Gotland. The earliest date from the 5th century AD and the latest from the 12th AD. Some of the stones remain in their original setting, but many have been moved and are on exhibition at the Historical Museum of Gotland, the National Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm and the open-air museum at Bunge, northern Gotland.</p>

Click on the images to enlarge

Tjängvide
(Wikimedia Commons)

Stora Hammars
(Wikimedia Commons)

Stenkyrka
(Wikimedia Commons)

Ardre VIII
CWikimedia Commons)