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Jewellery was worn by both men and women, though of different types.
Women often strung metal chains or strings of beads between the brooches, or suspended ornaments from the bottom of the brooches.
Men wore rings on their fingers, arms and necks, and held their cloaks closed with penannular brooches, often with extravagantly long pins.
Subsequently, Viking activities diversified to include trading voyages to the east, west and south of their Scandinavian homelands, with repeated and regular voyages following river systems east into Russia and the Black and Caspian Sea regions, and west to the coastlines of the British Isles, Iceland and Greenland.
Evidence exists for Vikings reaching Newfoundland well before the later voyages of Christopher Columbus discovered the "New World".
Less common, but significant nonetheless, are finds of precious metal objects in the form of treasure hoards, many apparently concealed for safe-keeping by owners later unable to recover their contents, although some may have been deposited as offerings to the gods.
Recently, given the increasing popularity and legality of metal-detecting, an increasing frequency of single, chance finds of metal objects and ornaments (most probably representing accidental losses) is creating a fast expanding corpus of new material for study.
The alternative name for the Viking people, Norse or Norsemen ('North men'), clearly reflects their northern homelands.
Viking raiders attacked wealthy targets on the north-western coasts of Europe from the late 8th until the mid-11th century CE.
Their weapons were often richly decorated on areas such as sword hilts.
The Vikings mostly used silver or bronze jewellery, the latter sometimes gilded, but a small number of large and lavish pieces or sets in solid gold have been found, probably belonging to royalty or major figures.