You have all no doubt been lying sleepless at night wondering about these two questions:
How did Viking Age Denmark look like in regards to the landscape?
Where would a Viking feel at home in modern Denmark, landscape wise?
You can now sleep soundly again, because here is the answer: https://jyllands-posten.dk/rejser/EC...idens-danmark/
Loose clusters of farms and very small hamlets, for safety and because most would have been related, with small fields surrounding the farms and hamlets in a bewildering pattern.
Already by the Viking Age the deep forests that covered DK from coast to coast during the Stone Age had long since been broken up by societies with an insatiable appetite for wood. And by the 1600s only 4 % was woodland and forest. (Today it's a little more than 20 %.)
During the Viking Age crops was the main produce for farms, and really not much more than what an extended family needed as there were very few towns around. Protein mainly came from fowl and lots of fish.
The first town in the Danish realm was Hedeby, which was a center for slave trade BTW. That is today located in Germany.
But the first ethnic Danish town was Ribe, that was founded around 704. The town is still around, distinctly medieval and very charming. I can only recommend you come visiting should you ever come to DK. Especially in the early evening you will feel like you have gone back to an affluent merchant town anno 1870.
But back to the Viking Age around anno 1000. The loose cluster of small hamlets and farms was how Denmark had been looking for some 5.000 years. Albeit ever more of them and with the forest being cleared more and more. And that's how DK looked until the 1300's.
The climate changed slightly around that time and DK at the time had an extremely profitable export of salt herring going south, especially during Lent. But due to the climate changes DK changed from an agricultural country with crops feeding the population to cattle. Lots of cattle!
Several times a year you would see large herds of cattle driven, or just as commonly, sailed south, flanked by cowboys - on foot.
These "cowboys" were all men, being away for several weeks at a time. Mainly because men took care of the fields and cattle (as well as fishing. Most hamlets and larger farms would have at least one fishing boat) while women looked after the pigs and poultry and as such it was women and teenage girls who drove the geese, ducks, milk-cows and pigs to town.
Denmark was a cattle and herring country until well into the 1800's.
Today you no doubt think that DK is a well-groomed country with rolling fields and meadows with grassing cows, interrupted by the odd wood. And you would be right - and wrong at the same time.
Some 25 km from where I set right now, in our backyard, are herds of wild horses.
The live in the national park Mols Mountains. - They are hardly the most impressive mountains in the world though.
Here is a view from Mols Mountains. And just in the faint haze of the horizon to the far right is the village where I sit right now.
We have had wolves passing close by our village several times. But there have been few reports of wolves this year, so either they have been shot, become more careful or migrated back to Germany.
Some 50 km to the east of where I sit are several hundred thousand red deer, breeding like they were paid for it!
Some 25 km to the north are beavers, having a merry time chewing away. Not least in the general area of where my in-laws live.
Along the sparsely populated and touristed coastline north of here are quite a few nesting what we call King Eagles:
And Sea Eagles:
So slowly DK, despite having a population of now 5.8 million, is reverting to the landscape we had in the Viking Age.