Popular culture portrays the Viking as a somewhat filthy person.
But that’s unlikely to be true:
Historians also use the famous Bayeux Tapestry as a source when trying to determine what the Vikings looked like. The tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
“Several archaeological finds have revealed tweezers, combs, nail cleaners, ear cleaners and toothpicks from the Viking Age,” says Louise Kæmpe Henriksen, the curator at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.
The finds suggest that cleanliness meant a lot to the Vikings. Written sources from medieval England also back up this view. In his chronicle from 1220 – a couple of centuries after the Vikings had ravaged England – John of Wallingford described the Vikings as well-groomed heartbreakers: