Twelve hundred years ago, the king of the Swedes established a new trading port at one of the inlets from the Baltic Sea.
Ulf V Norlinger
(M.A. in History)
Twelve hundred years ago, the king of the Swedes established a new trading port at one of the inlets from the Baltic Sea. The place was called Birka, and became Sweden's first real town and later capital. Birka is today a popular site for excursions, where the archaeologists' continuing excavations provide insight into the daily life of the former Viking town.
Birka was an important centre of trade for Northern Europe for 200 years. The town was founded in the late 8th century and abandoned in the beginning of the 11th century. During its period of prosperity, it had close on 1,000 inhabitants. Pagans and Christians lived side-by-side, and plenty of foreigners dwelled in Birka as well. When the king visited the town, he and his company lived on HovgÃ¥rden (The Warrior Hold on the battle map), the King's estate on the island across the water.
Birka was part of a global commercial network. Arabic silver and Russian pearls were traded for iron or skins. The plentiful archaeological findings tell a story of a society with a distinct hierarchy and inequalities between both the classes and sexes. Merchants, artisans and farmers were all part of Birka's population, which was ruled by the King's representative when the King was absent.
The island of Birka is today called BjÃ¶rkÃ¶ and the inlet from the sea is nowadays Lake MÃ¤laren. The grounds on BjÃ¶rkÃ¶ were cultivated long before Birka's heyday and the island still has a thriving landscape with grazing animals and verdant fields.
On Birka archeologists have found more than 3000 graves! Many probably the consequence of the attack by the Norwegian king Olaf Haraldsson 1007, which resulted in Birka being burnt down and abandoned, and the center of trading moved to the new capital Sigtuna.
Defender: King Olof SkÃ¶tkonung's representative (You)
Attacker: King Olaf Haraldsson
Now you have the chance to change history!
The battle is extremely difficult, though, and designed for experts. I have included a victorious replay with Battle Results. Can you beat my score?
This scenario took me several days to complete. It is very challenging. Hope you enjoy it!
Look for more information in the .doc file.