Viking raiders were proving their masculinity to try to win women's hearts CREDIT:AFP/GETTY IMAGES/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
But the reason why groups took to the seas in the first place continues to divide historians, some blaming over-population in Scandinavia, and others seeing it as a preemptive strike against the seemingly unstoppable march of Christianity.
Now a new theory suggests that the Vikings actually had matters of the heart on their minds.
Dr Mark Collard, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen and currently the Canada Research Chair at the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, along with colleague Ben Raffield and Neil Price, Professor of Archaeology at Uppsala University , believes that changes in society had led to a desperate shortage of marriage partners.
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